second Edition, First Printing stated on copyright page. Inscribed in felt Pen by the author on the blank endpaper: "To Mike, Thank you for my freedom, Semper Fi Nick Popaditch Gunny Pop." Fine and birght conditon with no other markings or wear of any sort either to book or jacket.
May 6, 1986: Nick Popaditch arrives at the Receiving Barracks, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California.returncharacterreturncharacterApril 9, 2003: An AP photographer captures a striking image seen around the world of the Gunny Sergeant smoking a victory cigar in his tank, the haunting statue of Saddam Hussein hovering in the background. Popaditch is immortalized forever as "The Cigar Marine."returncharacterreturncharacterApril 6, 2004: The tanker fights heroically in the battle for Fallujah and suffers grievous head wounds that leave him legally blind and partially deaf. The USMC awards him with a Silver Star for his valor and combat innovation.returncharacterreturncharacterApril 18, 2004: "Gunny Pop" comes home to face the toughest fight of his life-a battle to remain the man and Marine he was. This is the central drama of Nick's inspiring memoir, Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery.returncharacterreturncharacterReaders in and out of the military will stand up and cheer for this valiant Marine's Marine, a man who embodies everything noble and proud in the Corps' long tradition. Never has modern mechanized combat seemed so immediate and real, or the fight in Iraq seemed so human and worth believing in.returncharacterreturncharacterAt first, Nick fights to get back to where he was in Iraq-in the cupola of an M1A1 main battle tank, leading Marines in combat at the point of the spear. As the seriousness and permanence of his disabilities become more evident, Nick fights to remain in the Corps in any capacity, to help the brothers in arms he so aches to rejoin. Facing the inevitable following a medical retirement, he battles for rightful recognition and compensation for his permanent disabilities. Throughout his harrowing ordeal, Nick fights to maintain his honor and loyalty, waging all these battles the same way-the Marine way-because anything less would be a betrayal of all he holds dear.returncharacterreturncharacterThe real triumph in Once a Marine is its previously untold, behind-the-scenes tale of the day-to-day life of a career Marine noncommissioned staff officer. In most books and movies, a "Gunny" is little more than a cardboard character. Nick's portrayal is a man complete: a husband and father, as well as a warrior and a molder of young warriors. He reveals himself completely, something no memoirist in his position has ever done before. This includes our very personal introduction to his wife April, whose heroics in the story equal Nick's, together with dozens of others who, as Sgt. Popaditch writes, gave so much, so selflessly and freely, to him. Like the man himself, Once a Marine is full of gratitude and refreshingly free of false bravado and braggadocio.returncharacterreturncharacterAll Americans, of all political persuasions, have a duty to meet this courageous and admirable fighting man, an exemplar of all our military men and women who give so much out of love for their nation. Meeting Gunny Sergeant Popaditch through the pages of his inspirational memoir offers up new reasons to be proud and shoulder our own responsibilities as Americans.returncharacterreturncharacterOnce a Marine will instantly take its place among outstanding combat classics. And once you read this remarkable and uplifting book, The Marine's Hymn will never sound the same.returncharacterreturncharacterFINALIST: The Indie Book Awards, Autobiography / Memoirs 2009returncharacterreturncharacterreturncharacterreturncharacter returncharacterreturncharacter REVIEWS returncharacterreturncharacter" Nick Popaditch's transcendent memoir of military service and its personal consequences should be read by every one of our nation's political leaders-to help them understand the incomparable quality of those who fight on the front lines. Read this inspiring story, recommend it to friends-and send a copy to your member of Congress "returncharacterreturncharacter- Ralph Peters (Lt. Col., ret.), New York Post columnist and author of Looking For Trouble and Wars Of Blood and Faithreturncharacterreturncharacter"Retired Gunny Sergeant Nick Popaditch's narrative will burn through your heart, and then settle deep in your gut. . . . Readers will shed a tear, and simultaneously burst out with eagle, globe and anchor emotive-pride. That, I guarantee "returncharacterreturncharacter--Leatherneck Magazine (USMC)returncharacterreturncharacter"America has always been blessed by wonderful, patriotic, and often anonymous men and women who have sacrificed so much in defense of liberty and freedom. Once a Marine, Gunny Sergeant Nick Popaditch's heart-wrenching and inspiring memoir, puts a name and a face on this sacrifice. Every American should read this book to remind them of what these brave warriors of freedom endure on our behalf."- Congressman Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.returncharacterreturncharacter"Gunny Popaditch's story is as inspiring as it is dramatic. This wounded warrior suffered grievous injuries - an RPG to the head - but refused to give up on life, even when his wounds forced him out of the Corps. Once a Marine is a 'must read' story of one of today's real heroes."- Jerry D. Morelock, PhD, Colonel, U. S. Army (Ret.), Editor in Chief, Armchair General returncharacterreturncharacter"Author Gunny Sergeant Nick Popaditch, a Silver Star recipient and the subject of the world-famous AP photo, has penned what must surely be classed as among the best personal memoirs of any combat soldier in recent memory. Once a Marine is an in-your-face blast of raw emotion and realism that will strike a raw nerve and keep you up at night. This autobiography of combat, courage, and recovery should be required reading for every American, young and old, who yearns to grasp the true cost of freedom." returncharacterreturncharacter- Caspar Weinberger Jr., Military and Current Affairs Columnistreturncharacterreturncharacter"A riveting and