Steel Will

My Journey through Hell to Become the Man I Was Meant to Be

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On February 19, 2007, SSG Shilo Harris was patrolling an infamous southern Iraqi roadway when his Humvee was struck by an IED. Moments later, three members of his crew were dead and Shilo had sustained severe injuries that would alter the course of his life. For forty-eight days he lay trapped in a medically induced coma as his wife, unable to ease his suffering, had to come to grips with a man utterly changed.

Through more than sixty surgeries, countless hard decisions, and the unwavering devotion of the wife who would not leave his side, Shilo discovered that he was being reshaped--within and without--into the person he was meant to be all along. His inspiring story will move you and motivate you to live boldly in the face of fear and trust God to pull you through the toughest of times--no matter what.


"Staff Sergeant Harris has made a choice not embraced by veterans of wars past to talk and talk and talk about what he's experienced--a soldier turned messenger. He leaves crowds standing at attention, as he honors his friends who have fallen."--August Skamenca, reporter, CBS News

"In Steel Will, we see what happens to an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. We see what happens when an ordinary man rises above a bleak prognosis, when an ordinary family surrounds their hero with love and hopefulness, and when an extraordinary, miracle-working God places his hands on the one he loves."--SFC Leroy Petry, United States Army Medal of Honor recipient

"This book should be required reading for every American, especially our youth. Shilo Harris is a true patriot and an American hero. This book embodies the essential spirit of America by reminding us that being a hero isn't always judged by your accomplishments. It is often judged by your sacrifice so others can have their accomplishments under a blanket of freedom."--Ric Savage, former professional wrestler and television host

"SSG Shilo Harris, in his writing, has exposed his soul like no other author. His life is open and raw, revealing his unwavering faith, his clear understanding of the risks of war and its heartbreaking impact on all those who are touched by it. Steel Will is a book that will emotionally rip you apart but will have you cheering at the end."--Fred Gregory, Air Force Vietnam vet, astronaut, NASA Deputy Administrator

"I thought my story was tough. But reading Steel Will put me in the fire, in the coma, and on the rocky road to recovery. When the last page was turned, I felt honored to know the man of Steel Will, Shilo Harris."--SFC US Army (Ret) Dana Bowman, HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation


Shilo Harris enlisted in the US Army after 9/11. On his second deployment, he sustained catastrophic injuries when his vehicle was struck by an IED. Harris spent nearly three years in the burn unit of Brooke Army Medical Center. Harris retired from the military in 2010 and is now a motivational speaker, urging audiences to welcome veterans and wounded warriors home with open arms and open minds. He and his family were featured on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on December 11, 2012. They live in Texas.

Robin Overby Cox
is a career educator and librarian. With deep roots in military life, she collaborated with Shilo in order to call communities to action on behalf of veterans. A graduate of both Florida State University and the University of South Florida, she calls Texas home and has five children and six grandchildren.


Endorsements

"Staff Sergeant Harris has made a choice not embraced by veterans of wars past to talk and talk and talk about what he's experienced--a soldier turned messenger. He leaves crowds standing at attention, as he honors his friends who have fallen."

August Skamenca, reporter, CBS News

"After eight deployments in the War on Terror, I can speak to the challenges of the modern battlefield. Like Shilo, I know the combat of recovery from catastrophic wounds. I know the grief of losing comrades in arms despite your best efforts to protect them. And like Shilo, I know something about medals. Service to our country is what we do, who we are. In Steel Will, we see what happens to an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. We see what happens when an ordinary man rises above a bleak prognosis, when an ordinary family surrounds their hero with love and hopefulness, and when an extraordinary, miracle-working God places His hands on the one He loves."

SFC Leroy Petry, United States Army Medal of Honor recipient

"This book should be required reading for every American, especially our youth. Shilo Harris is a true patriot and an American hero. This book embodies the essential spirit of America by reminding us that being a hero isn't always judged by your accomplishments. It is often judged by your sacrifice so others can have their accomplishments under a blanket of freedom."

Ric Savage, former professional wrestler and television host

"SSG Shilo Harris, in his writing, has exposed his soul like no other author. His life is open and raw, revealing his unwavering faith, his clear understanding of the risks of war and its heartbreaking impact on all those who are touched by it. He questions whether his actions really made a difference, but his faith and God's omnipresence within allow him a sense of peace and wellbeing. Shilo was a soldier and remains a soldier, injured and recovered, with an enduring commitment to serve as best he can even though the battlefield has been altered. Steel Will is a book that will emotionally rip you apart but will have you cheering at the end. A definite read!"

Fred Gregory, Air Force Vietnam vet, astronaut, NASA Deputy Administrator

"This book is an honor to read! Shilo's heroism and life story are truly an inspiration to all! Shilo makes me proud to be an American! I highly recommend this book to all who value freedom!"

Eric Turner, rock guitarist, founding member of Warrant

"I've seen and done a lot of things in my life. US Army. Ranger. Special Forces. Golden Knights. A midair parachuting collision at 150 mph killed my partner instantly and severed both my legs. I thought my story was tough. But reading Steel Will put me in the fire, in the coma, and on the rocky road to recovery. When the last page was turned, I felt honored to know the man of Steel Will, Shilo Harris."

SFC US Army (Ret.) Dana Bowman, HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation

"SSG Shilo Harris, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers like him, put themselves in harm's way and in God's hands for the cause of freedom. For these warriors, uncommon valor is the benchmark. To be sure, Shilo's story is dramatic. But the focus of Steel Will is clearly a call to action to support America's troops, their families, caregivers, and our nation. God bless our military and God bless America."

COL Don "Doc" Ballard, US Army (Ret.), US Navy Corpsman, USMC DOC, Medal of Honor recipient 1968

"As a combat veteran and fellow wounded warrior, Shilo Harris's account of his life, combat, military career, and horrific wounds is one of hope, inspiration, and the overcoming spirit I have built my life around. It is a journey into a soldier's life abruptly plunged into the depths of human misery and despair, but through love and faith, he finds the 'steel will' to push against all odds and set the example for his family, his fellow warriors, and everyone around him. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great story and motivation to overcome the adversity we all face in life."

Jason Redman, US Navy SEAL (Ret.), author of The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader


The Authors

  1. Shilo Harris

    Shilo Harris

    Shilo Harris enlisted in the US Army after 9/11. On his second deployment, he sustained catastrophic injuries when his vehicle was struck by an IED. Harris spent nearly three years in the burn unit of Brooke Army Medical Center. Harris retired from the military in...

    Continue reading about Shilo Harris

  2. Robin Overby Cox

    Robin Overby Cox

    Robin Overby Cox is a career educator and librarian. With deep roots in military life, she collaborated with Shilo in order to call communities to action on behalf of veterans. A graduate of both Florida State University and the University of South Florida, she...

    Continue reading about Robin Overby Cox

Reviews

"Grabs readers from page one. . . . Harris describes the sights, sounds, and smells of the battlefield in dramatic fashion and describes how God restored his soul and led him to appreciate grace and salvation. Helpful resources include a list of organizations and ministries that assist injured veterans and their families, a glossary of military terms, a recommended reading list, a bibliography, and color pictures."

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"While this is one man's memoir, Harris also relates the stories of others who have come from the battlefield with physical and mental scars. His story includes references to his faith, but, for the most part, it should appeal to a secular audience as well. Americans live in a world of PTSD veterans, and Harris has told an important story."

Publishers Weekly


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