Long Rifle: A Sniper's Story in Iraq and Afghanistan

Long Rifle: A Sniper's Story in Iraq and Afghanistan

by Joe Lebleu, Mike Tucker

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Overview

When fires raged in the ruins of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Joe LeBleu, a native of Brooklyn and a retired U.S. Army Ranger veteran, was in lower Manhattan. On that day he decided to return to active duty. By the time he received an honorable discharge as a Staff Sergeant, paratrooper, and sniper team leader in the 82nd Airborne Division in 2005, he’d become known as “Long Rifle”—for shooting an Iraqi insurgent at 1,100 meters in Fallujah in the fall of 2003. That single shot remains the farthest in Iraq by any American or British sniper.

This book tells his story.

Long Rifle is gripping and moving, but most of all, inspiring. As 9/11 altered the terrain of so many lives, it shaped that of Joe LeBleu: “Watching my city burn tore me up inside like nothing else in my life, ever.” Joe takes us with him from that haunting day in New York across the world, to the sweltering heat and ambush-rife conditions of desert and urban combat in Iraq. From here we enter a vastly different world: the remote and rugged mountains of Afghanistan. Joe’s accounts of sniper missions against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in this grueling landscape are engaging and intriguing. Finally, Joe trusts his gut and returns to civilian life, settling near Las Vegas and going on to train Mark Wahlberg for his role as a Force Recon Marine scout/sniper in the film, Shooter. Joe had come full circle from 9/11, “a day that changed my life forever.”

Raw, gritty, passionate, and provocative, Long Rifle is both the first memoir by a U.S. Army sniper from the 9/11 generation and a stirring testament to the core values of American soldiers: integrity, honor, and courage. LeBleu’s journey to war and back also testifies to the enduring power of love: Joe carried his dream to return to Natalie, his wife, forsix long years.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599214405
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/25/2008
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,146,648
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joe LeBleu is a former U.S. Army Ranger and 82nd Airborne sniper team leader. His fathers military service allowed him to grow up all over the world, he holds the record for the longest kill shot, 1,100 meters, in Fallujah, Iraq, in the fall of 2003. Now a civilian, he lives with his wife, Natalie, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Read an Excerpt

An excerpt from Long Rifle “Night and day, throughout September, I was on more missions than any other sniper. I was sweat-soaked and tired and hungry all the time. . . . I remember telling my team, ‘Who gives a shit, we’ll get all the sleep we need when we’re dead and I don’t intend on dying just yet.’ I remember saying that a lot throughout the tour in Fallujah, ‘I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead,’ and my team would smile and Eggleston would say, ‘Roger that.’ They must have really thought that I’d lost it; no doubt, my pearls of wisdom kept them on their toes. . . . Something that a lot of people don’t understand is that in the middle of hell, the only thing that you’ve got is comedy.”

Table of Contents

OutlineTitle PageMaps/Photos (Joe has over 200 photos to select from, in Iraq and Afghanistan)GlossaryContentsIntroduction: A day that changed my life foreverIntroduction will cover Joe’s youth, growing up in Brooklyn,tour of duty in US Army Rangers, return to NYC, and of course,September 11th—September 11th is the anchor of the introduction andJoe’s thoughts on September 11th weave throughout the book. Book One: “Insurgent at 1100 Meters, Lieutenant.” “Roger that. Take the shot.”Joe’s combat in Iraq dominates this section, the guts of the book are all here—this is the section that will appeal most to the military reader. His affection for Natalie, which the reader will first get in the introduction, grows here and the general reader will stay hooked on the love groove. Joe saw a ton of action, including “The Shot,” and the combat will no doubt draw in many readers. The witnesses to Joe’s seemingly-impossible shot will also recount that mission—among them are Captain Adam Bohlen, US Army 10th Mountain Division. You’re familiar with Bohlen, of course, from Among Warriors in Iraq, a book in which LeBleu appears also. Book Two: Far Afghan HillsJoe was on a lot of dicey, very high-risk sniper missions in Afghanistan, and his thoughts on fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda are provocative, engaging, and intriguing. The grueling and very challenging nature of sniper missions in the rugged and remote mountains of Afghanistan provide the general reader with real contrast to the desert and urban missions of Book One. Again, Joe’s love for Natalie binds the narrative. Book Three: Coming HomeThe warrior at rest. Joe felt that his debt to America was paid, having served in the Rangers and the paratroopers, and trusted his gut. His transition to civilian life, “back to The World,” as grunts like to put it, wasn’t easy but Natalie certainly made it far less difficult than it would’ve been without her. This section will also have Joe’s thoughts on training Mark Wahlberg for the film, Shooter, and his last words on the impact of September 11th on his life.

Recipe

Long Rifle is gripping and moving, but most of all, inspiring. As 9/11 altered the terrain of so many lives, it shaped that of Joe LeBleu:

 

He could only watch as Innocent people died and fires raged in the ruins of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. As a former U.S. Army Ranger, Joe LeBleu knew what he had to do, return to active duty! By the time he received another honorable discharge in 2005 as a Sergeant, paratrooper, and sniper team leader, he had become known as “Long Rifle” for shooting an Iraqi insurgent at 1,100 meters in Fallujah. That single shot remains the farthest in Iraq by any American or British sniper.

 

As 9/11 altered the terrain of so many lives, it shaped that of LeBleu. He takes us with him from that haunting day in New York, to the sweltering heat and ambush-rife conditions of desert and urban combat in Iraq. From here we enter a different world: the mountains of Afghanistan. His accounts of sniper missions against the Taliban and Al Qaeda are riveting. Finally, he trusts his gut and returns to civilian life, settling near Las Vegas and going on to serve as a Firearms Instructor while assisting Pat Garret in training Mark Wahlberg for his role as a Force Recon Marine scout/sniper in the Major motion picture, Shooter.

 

Raw, gritty, passionate, and provocative, Long Rifle is both the first memoir by a U.S. Army sniper from the 9/11 generation and a stirring testament to the core values of American soldiers: integrity, honor, and courage. LeBleu’s journey to war and back also testifies to the enduring power of love: He carried his dream to return to Natalie, hiswife for six long years...

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Long Rifle 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
mifamilia More than 1 year ago
Joe is an American warrior, and for that I will always respect him. His book suffers from his bitterness and anger that becomes more evident as he proceeds. Toward the end of the book, it becomes a very pervasive factor. I thought it detracted from the story that I was hoping to find from the book's title. As the book ends, Joe shares that his post military career has suffered from job problems and domestic issues. He's obviously carrying some trauma, or he has a personality disorder that's causing him some serious issues ... maybe both. It certainly becomes evident in his book. If I were Joe's mentor, I would advise him to do what I did after I returned from Vietnam .... go to the VA and get some help. They saved me from myself. Unfortunately I suffered for 30 years before I admitted it was time to go. It will make him a much better writer! Joe has experiences that very few people will ever have and many of us want to hear about them and learn from them. He could do a tremendous job if he would cull the anger and bitterness and political shadowboxing. Joe, my era's soldiers tend to despise Johnson. Yours will find their fall guy. Check out Col. Hal Moore's book, We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young. You'll find a book that informs the public and does it in a classic way w/o any of the distractions. It takes us there with him. Try again, Joe. You can teach us a lot. One of my sons is also doing exactly what Joe was doing. So far, he's doing well. Good luck Joe.
stormchaser777 More than 1 year ago
I was expecting one more heroic account of another great hero among us, not another whinner trying to find who to blame for the shortcommings of the military planners. If i wanted to read about somebody's political views in respect to Pres. Bush, especially anti-Bush, I would have spend my money on one of Michael Moore's brainless pieces of literature garbage.
GAN More than 1 year ago
Very Disappointed. Thought I was buying a book on sniping in Iraq. Book was replete with Anti Bush political rants. Had I known, I would not have wasted my money. Book should have been Named.."My one long shot and how Bush and Cheney can't fight a war". Guess he thinks if Gore or Kerry were in charge the war would have been a total victory...NOT. I want my money back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend of mine from Iraq recommended this book and based on this recommendation I picked it up- it is NOT my typical fare. It was easy to read, quick, precise and on the money. At times it is frustrating- only because in so many ways you can relate to what the author is saying and you find yourself feeling a miniscule portion of the frustration LeBlue must have felt. Having worked in Iraq and taken incoming, I always found it frustrating that we could do nothing in retaliation. The insurgents knowing this took away their fear of retribution and therefore... why stop? If you have nothing to fear then what is the incentive to stop bombing Americans? I appreciate LeBlue not only sharing his experience but also pointing out the frustrations many I encountered had felt, including myself, when it came to a "kinder, gentler" war. I consider myself to be a moderate liberal and still understand where he is coming from, being as I have been here, albeit to a much, much lesser extent than he was involved. I appreciate his honesty and the raw emotion. I felt like I could see, feel and hear what was going on. When I left work today, the rocks and sand I was walking over had a different feel to them... I remembered what it was like before things calmed down.... and remembered his advice not to let your guard down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny the author was there before me . I enlisted in Apr 66 and went to nam in apr 67. I looked back using the dates in there's book know where I was and what I was doing. I was mabs16 in com many times hi was down at the flight line lnstalling phones . In 68 they built better O country qtrs and the officers got AC .The Army came in (the black cats ) we stoles their ac and put them in our hootches . I really liked the book. I retired in 94. I extended 2 times . One last thing thank you for writing this
IowaPatriot More than 1 year ago
if you delete the political ranting or are a Bush hater then this book is for you. While I'm no huge fan of the Bush family all the whinning about Haliburton and President Bush is really over the top. Pass on this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All this guy does ia complane and whine about politics and his officers not much else-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of you are just refuting what he was talking about in the book. Stupid civilians. The whole "Hey these are bad people, kill them! LOL nvm, don't, supply them with moar weapons and supplies!" thing, and how veterans are treated like **** when they come back. Search your soul, you know it's true. -US Army Reserves
TangoFoxtrot17 More than 1 year ago
This book has to be one of the best I have ever read. Joe LeBleu is a true American. He is very inspiring in what he does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The dead only know the end of war. This is a very common quote by a great philosopher. It also connects to my book in many ways. This book takes place in 2001 to 2005. November 11,2001. This starts the book. The author Joe LeBleu is watching his home city burn on the news. He is a great patriot and decides to go back into action as a US Army Sniper. As he completes his training he is shipped back to Iraq. This is what leads into the climax of the book. The climax is actually a slew of events. A few events that happen throughout the rest of the book are that he is always being hit going outside of the wire and in the Rad Zone. A big event that happens near the middle of the story is that he is on a reconnaissance mission out of the wire, when he spots a group of insurgents planting an IED (Improvised Explosive Device.) US Military safety protocol is to, "kill the b****** who is planting and then kill his body guards." At least that is my opinion. Finally, at the end of the book Joe is finishing up on his tour. He is taking part in many more missions during this time as well. On one of his missions he has a close call with the "Red Ninja," an insurgent who spared Joe's life. He had a red khaffiyeh wrapped around his head and a busted up AK-47 in his hands. Then when his tour is up, he went home to Las Vegas. His wife Natalie was their waiting for him. When the movie Shooter came out, the sniper (Mark Wahlberg) was trained by Joe LeBleu for his role. I think that the book was awesome. It fit into my category of reading. It explains the stupidity of the Bush Administration and how they did nothing to help in the actual fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Again I give this book five stars and recommend it to anybody 13 and up. In conclusion I give the book five stars. It fits in my category of reading, and also includes politics. As a recap, in the book Joe LeBleu goes back to Iraq as a US Army Sniper. He spends a couple of years over there learning more and more about his enemy and he gets the record shot on an enemy soldier. When his tour is up he comes back home to Las Vegas. For the movie shooter him and Pat Garrett train Mark Wahlberg for his role, a USMC sniper. Remember this, when you go to your nearest Barnes and Noble or Borders, pick up this gripping story of a man and a war!
NYCGansta More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS AMAZiNG!!! Giggity goo alright.hehehehehhehehe