The mother of former Amherst resident Aaron M. Kenefick, the Marine gunnery sergeant slain with four other servicemen in a 2009 ambush in Afghanistan, offered appreciation for a book written about the tragedy by fellow Marine Dakota Meyer, who received the Medal of Honor.
Susan L. Price says the just-released book, "Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War," provides a more accurate account of the ambush than a 500-plus page report by the Army and Marine Corps that is heavily redacted.
Meyer, a former Marine sergeant, disobeyed orders and went into Gangjal village in an effort to rescue the ambush victims, earning him the nation's highest military award.
"I spoke with Dakota for 20 minutes . because he wanted to know my opinion. I told him I was grateful he wrote the book because this opens the door for a lot of healing," Price said last week. "In the book, he mentions there were Special Forces teams coming in hours later. They had tried to get in sooner but were held back by the people in charge with the Army's 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, New York."
The book, she said, makes the case that the U.S. military had received advance information that Taliban fighters were moving into position hours prior to the early morning attack on Sept. 8, 2009.
"But a few officers in the 10th Mountain Division were responsible for denying the artillery and aerial support and knowing the whole time there were Taliban taking the high ground against the American Marines embedded training team," Price said.
The mother said the book also furthers the case for punishing the officers who failed to take action to protect her son and the other service members who perished. "They are the direct reason my son is not here today," she said.