Unflinching: The Making of a Canadian Sniper by Jody Mitic

Unflinching: The Making of a Canadian Sniper

byJody Mitic

Hardcover | September 8, 2015

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Elite sniper Jody Mitic loved being a soldier. His raw, candid, and engrossing memoir follows his personal journey into the Canadian military, through sniper training, and firefights in Afghanistan, culminating on the fateful night when he stepped on a landmine and lost both of his legs below the knees.

Afghanistan, 2007. I was a Master Corporal, part of an elite sniper team sent on a mission to flush out Taliban in an Afghan village. I had just turned thirty, after three tours of duty overseas. I’d been shot at by mortars, eyed the enemy through my scope, survived through stealth and stamina. I’d been training for war my entire adult life. But nothing prepared me for what happened next.

A twenty-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, Jody Mitic served as a Master Corporal and Sniper Team Leader on three active tours of duty over the course of seven years. Known for his deadly marksmanship, his fearlessness in the face of danger, and his “never quit” attitude, he was a key player on the front in Afghanistan. As a sniper, he secured strongholds from rooftops, engaged in perilous ground combat, and joined classified night operations to sniff out the enemy.

In this gritty, no-holds-barred memoir, Jody reveals he was born to be a soldier. An aimless teen in search of belonging, he found brotherhood and discipline in army life. In sniper school, he learned the mindset of a hunter-killer and developed the hyper-sensory precision of a human predator.

On the warfront, Jody experienced first-hand the valour and the chaos, the battle scars and the pain of war—including the tragic losses of fellow soldiers wounded or killed in action. And one day in 2007, when he was on a mission in a small Afghan village, he stepped on a landmine and the course of his life was forever changed. After losing both of his legs below the knees, Jody was forced to confront the loss of the only identity he had ever known—that of a soldier.

Determined to be of service to his family and to his country, he refused to let injury defeat him. Within three years after the explosion, he was not only walking again, he was running. By 2013, he was a star on the blockbuster reality TV show Amazing Race. And in 2014, Jody reinvented himself yet again, winning a seat as a city councillor for Ottawa.

Unflinching is a powerful chronicle of the honour and sacrifice of an ordinary Canadian fighting for his country, and an authentic portrait of military life. It’s also an inspirational memoir about living your dreams, even in the face of overwhelming adversity, and having the courage to soldier on.

Details & Specs

Title:Unflinching: The Making of a Canadian SniperFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:September 8, 2015Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:147679510X

ISBN - 13:9781476795102

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Unflinching PROLOGUE NEVER GIVE UP IT WAS 2007. I was a master corporal and sniper team leader in the Canadian Armed Forces. I’d just celebrated my thirtieth birthday in Afghanistan. I’d survived three tours over the course of seven years. I had been preparing for war for my entire adult life. But nothing prepared me for what was about to happen next. On January 11, a week after my birthday, our three-man elite sniper unit—Barry, Kash and me—led by my boss, Gord, was sent on a mission. We were to intercept Taliban insurgents fleeing the Canadian Forces as we advanced on an Afghan village. We stepped through the wire at Strong Point Centre and headed through the thick mud of a farmer’s field. A while later, we arrived at an opening in a wall leading into the village. I was bringing up the rear and I couldn’t see what was ahead, but Barry could. Barry was my point man and was always razor-sharp. Two small steps led up to the low entry. Two small steps. Barry went through the opening first, followed by Gord and Kash, rifles at the ready. They all cleared the entry without issue. I was up next. I took those two steps up, clearing the entry. In the green glow of my night vision, I saw Kash covering the six o’clock position. I tapped him on the shoulder to signal that I was in position and he moved to follows the others. We always keep ten metres between us when we are moving, just in case something goes wrong. I sensed Kash moving away from me as I watched our rear for threats. When I felt the right amount of time had passed, I looked over my shoulder to confirm we were keeping the proper spacing. I took one last look at our rear and then turned to follow the team. But as my right foot touched the ground, a massive orange fireball soared across my face. For a few seconds I was floating, weightless, suspended in space and time. I didn’t hear a sound. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground. My mouth, eyes, ears and nose were full of dirt. I was confused. My night vision was gone. Where was my trusty C-8 carbine? I’d had it at my side for the last five months. And then the pain hit—a pain so intense that it completely overwhelmed my body. Such a small thing, an anti-personnel land mine—about the size and shape of a thick hockey puck—but full of deadly explosives. I am not very religious, but they say there are no atheists in foxholes. As I punched the ground as hard as I could, I screamed, “Oh god! Oh god! Oh god!” My fellow snipers rushed to my side. “Sorry, guys. I just fucked the mission.” At that moment, this was all I cared about. “Fuck, Jody. Don’t worry about it, man,” Barry said. It was dark. My eyes were full of mud. I tried to look down at my legs but I couldn’t. Barry crouched over me, blocking my view. Whatever was going on with my legs, he didn’t want me to see it. The next hour was the longest of my life. Your mind goes to the weirdest places in a situation like that. I was so thirsty but refused to drink much. I remembered an episode of M*A*S*H in which Hawkeye says it’s a bad idea for the severely wounded to chug water. For some reason, in that moment, I chose to take medical advice from a TV show that had been off the air for decades. With each passing minute, I was growing weaker and weaker. Barry and Gord were both kneeling next to me doing first aid as Kash kept watch for signs of the enemy. “Do you think I’m going to make it?” I asked. “Of course you’re going to make it. Never give up, Jody. You know that.” Never. Give. Up. The phrase repeated over and over in my head. It still does to this day.

Editorial Reviews

“Amazing and inspirational.”