An absolute must read of the true horrors and happiness faced by one soldier who faced a situation that would have made anyone wish to end it all! He shows how the support and importance of family, loved ones and friends can bring you to terms with what you have to face, his hard work and determination shines through to the the end. A true hero and example to us all
If you are looking for a book about a Super Hero, or an Andy McNabesque invincible war machine on two legs, don’t bother reading any further, just pop down to the local bookshop and pick up some cheesy military fiction.
Andy Reid wasn’t Special Forces, nor does he consider or describe himself as a hero. No, really. He’s just an ordinary British Army Infantryman. He fought to enlist – failing the first time for being underweight. At 21 civvy life just isn’t fulfilling, so he tries again, and is enlisted into the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment. He climbed mountains, got seriously drunk, trained hard, played the fool and generally acted just like an ordinary soldier. You want to know why? Because he was an ordinary soldier. He served op Operations in Northern Ireland like thousands of soldiers, and Kosovo and Iraq like thousands more.
In 2009 Cpl Andy Reid, in his view at the pinnacle of any Infantryman’s career, is an Infantry Section Commander. The casualty rate of the British Army in Afghanistan is high. Extraordinarily high. In 2009 the casualty rate was 300% higher than the previous year. He volunteers to deploy with Burma Company, 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment as a Battle Casualty Replacement. So off he goes. And he does all the normal Infantry tasks. Guarding, Patrolling, hoping that there isn’t an IED in his path. And for the vast majority of his tour, he just cracks on with the job. Living in grim conditions, suffering boredom, suffering the extreme stress of combat and the loss of mates. Yet coping with all the exhaustion, frustration, fear and adrenalin, just as an ordinary soldier does. And then comes the time to hand over to a replacement Infantry Company. With his time in Afghanistan drawing to an end Cpl Reid is showing his replacement the ground that they need to cover. Then suddenly he is flying through the air.
Now Andy Reid ceases to be an ordinary soldier. Horrifically wounded he is evacuated back from the front line, back to Camp Bastion, and onward to Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham. We hear about his treatment and recovery not only from Andy’s point of view, but from his girlfriend Claire’s and his Cousin Karl’s. We hear of his physiotherapy and his fight to parade with his mates when they are presented their Afghanistan Medal. We hear of some astonishing feats in aid of charity and of Andy being honoured in the Millies.
This is an inspirational book by an inspirational man. Those of us who think we’ve had a tough time during our lives, or who think a hangnail is the end of the world would do well to read this story. An ordinary man, having lived an ordinary life until the extraordinary rocks him to the core. Read this book and get your own life in perspective.
Corporal William Andrew Reid has taken the time to detail the "How to" guide for those who want to do well in life. He shows through his words the power of positive actions and beliefs. This book should easily be a must read for individual wanting to acheive their goals. At times, it is a brutal reflection on the reality of how life is for those who are dedicated to serving Queen and Country. It is a reminder that the images of row after row of men in uniform marching in parades is not how a number of soldiers return home these days. Andy writes just like he lives, full on!! This book is one of the best buys I have made and I know that you will enjoy it. I callenge you not to be inspired by it, to learn from it, and to be grateful you read it. It is that kind of book. Well Done Andy, well done! Now, if you don't mind I am off to start reading the book again. Hope you enjoy your copy!!
I read this from cover to cover and couldn't put it down. I know Andy from the huge amount of work that he and his wife do for ABF The Soldiers Charity, helping other soldiers and their families in need, so know his sense of humour and his modest manner. It is a wonderful book, taking us on the path through Andy's life, telling it how it is in the vernacular and not casting any blame or recriminations. He is determined to go forward not backwards and imparts his real enthusiasm for life, for his wife and family, for his Regiment and the Army in an open and highly readable way. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was very moved by it. What will be the next chapter in the life and times of this inspirational man?
Andy's book is written how it should be. He tells tales of his Army career as if he was sat in a pub talking to a bunch of his Army mates. After 23 years of my Army career i feel i have had it easy compared to this amazing fella. Only downside, pictures of him in his St Helens Rugby League Shirt!
After reading Standing Tall I was both in awe of Andy's bravery and determination to get back to "normal". He is a typical soldier who has been in combat and came back life intact, he is totally selfless. His story should be read by everyone, and he will be an amazing motivational speaker. Stories like this make me feel so humble and so very selfish, my job is safe, my life is safe and it's all because of our armed forces. When I read the parts written by his wife and his cousin, I sobbed all through, so emotional. Andy Reid is a true hero and an aspiration to all.