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ALL AMERICAN by Robert McGovern


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American Compass

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Athlete, soldier, Christian...Rob McGovern grew up one of nine kids in a New Jersey home, played football at one of the top high-school programs in the state, went on to play college ball at Holy Cross...and then into the NFL as an undersized linebacker and special-teams player, first with the Chiefs and then with the Steelers and the Patriots. Rob's account of those heady days reminds us that playing on Sunday doesn't always bring wealth and glory so much as bruises and ulcers. Still he loved it. “I'd never say I joined the Army to make the world safe for football. But I believe we as a nation are trying to make the world safe for other young men and women to follow their dreams, however unlikely.”

After football, law school at Fordham, and a stint in the Army reserves, McGovern came face to face with the horrors of 9/11. He was working then in the office of New York City's D.A. from whom he quickly asked for release from his duties in order to go on active duty with the Army. Just as quickly he found himself in Afghanistan and then Iraq, where he led the team that prosecuted Sgt. Hasan Akbar, the soldier who rolled grenades into the tents of fellow soldiers, killing two. (And, by the way, be warned that Captain McGovern has an ear for the way professional football players and soldiers talk—which is to say the language of All American is sometimes...salty.)

And just as his insights into the NFL are unique, his JAGs-eye-view of the war is fresh and startling. In such inhospitable, violent areas, Capt. McGovern manages to find both hope and resolve.

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