Reviews

Amazon

Truly Amazing
i was interested in this book for two reasons. Number one is that my husband is a Beirut veteran so I was interested in hearing an account of that era. Secondly, the American Brother in this book and his sister who wrote it are from my mother's small hometown of Hinton, West Virginia. I purchased the book and quickly began reading it and was transfixed for the entire day until I completed the book. The connection I felt while reading Elisa's story is almost indescribable. The new found memories of Beirut were expected. What was not expected was being transported in time at the recognition and descriptions of Hinton. i am so thankful for Elisa sharing her story of her brother, an American hero, as well as sharing the love of her own hometown of Hinton in the process. Thank you, Elisa, for your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. He is a symbol of eveyone's American Brother.

Fitting Tribute to an American Marine.
It must have been difficult yet therapeutic to write this touching story. As a US Marine who served in Beirut, this story hits right at home. My own sister was at home, writing letters and worried about my safety, so I related to Elisa's story, page after page. I had to put it down a few times...to painful for me at times. I knew the ending, all too well. In all, it's a fine memorial to a brother by his sister. Her love and desire to be sure we never forget is waht it's really about.

Wonderful dedication to a fallen brother
This young man grew up in my hometown and was a hero before he every became a Marine, loved by everyone who knew him for his sweet spirit. The book is a dedication to him by his younger sister, sharing funny and serious stories of his short life. Throughout this book, which I read in one afternoon, I laughted and I cried, reliving many of the stories. Truly a great read whether you knew the family or not and a wonderful story by one who loved him very much.

Great Story, have a tissue ready
The story itself was outstanding, and I recommend it highly. The writing itself is somewhat amateurish in technique, but the story makes up for a lot of that. Don't try to read it without a tissue, because it will bring tears to your eyes, unless you are not human. I recently met the author at an event where she spoke. She is very passionate about her subject.

Wounderful tribute
Beautifully written tribute to her brother! I did not know the family, but became friends with Elisa's mother, Jean some years later. I feel like I knew Mecot because of his mother's conversations with me. I live outside Hinton, WV and can honestly say that this family is still highly regarded by all who had the privilege of knowing them. I consider myself honored to have known Jean and shared her memories. Thank you for American Brother!

Wonderful read, important themes
Wonderful tribute by a sister to her US Marine brother. Beyond their relationship, American Brother explores the goodness of small town America and the grace of faith & family in the most difficult times. The Camara family is an American success story, a powerful theme quietly found in the background of the book. Mecot Camara could have been anything he wanted in life. He was inspired to serve his country as a US Marine. Today's society provides stark contrast for his selflessness and his passion for service, family, and Country. Such a tremendous loss - we need more passionate Americans like him. Remembering Sgt. Camara and his fellow service memebers lost in Beirut is more than enough reason to buy and read American Brother. There is much more here to inspire you.

The "Ooo Rah"

American Brother is an American love story. It's a story of a young Marine's love of God, Country, Corps. and Family. It's also a story of a little sister love for her big brother. The author, Elisa Camara, puts Hinton, WV on the map, her only brother, Sgt. Mecot Camara, in pur hearts, and the Beirut bombing in-our collective conscience. How can any of us forget the tragic bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beriut? Ms. Camara makes it more personal.

Elisa finds solace in knowing that the cause her big brother believed in and died for marches on. By honoring her "American Brother" Elisa pays tribute to all who have entered that portal and earned the title.

You will not want to miss the first meeting after the summer break and the story about this young Marine, Elisa Camara's "American Brother"

Nesta Logan

Resident & Family Friend of the Camaras

I worked at Summers County Hospital for 41 years, starting in 1975. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with your dad. I knew your family, including Mecot. I had to reach out to you because I just finished reading your book "American Brother". I cannot express how much your writings touched my heart. Your ability to engulf and place the reader in your story is phenominal. There are so many aspects of the book that capture the reader, but the love within your family and the patriotism expressed by both Mecot and your Dad speaks to the need in our country at our time in history. Your story needs to be on the pages of every newspaper and magazines. I just wish I had a way to get a copy of "American Brother" to President Trump. America needs to read your story. Elisa, I know your story was from the heart, but you have an art in the way you penned the words. I loved your story.

Leatherneck Magazine

Bob Loring

American Brother, by Elisa M. Camara. Published by Hell Gate Press. Foreword, Epilogue, Acknowledgments, Appendix, 192 Pages & Photos. ISBN 9781555717384.

Demonstrating an "Always Faithful" love and support for her Marine, Elisa Camara has penned this heart-wrenching tribute to her brother, Sergeant Mecot Camara.

It has been over 30 years since the world, and Marines everywhere, were shaken by the tragic bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut Lebanon. In this devastating suicide attack, two hundred forty-one Americans dies, including Sgt. Camara. The mind-spinning fact that these Marines had been sent to Beirut, Lebanon on a peace keeping mission further made this dastardly attack even more difficult to comprehend. Ms. Camara's new book, "American Brother," reminds us of their needless loss, and her undying love and affection for her older brother. It also serves to remind us of all the brave men and woman in our Armed Forces who have been lost on the field of action. Lost, yes, but not forgotten!

Ramon E. Camara, nicknamed "Mecot," was born on December 26th, 1960 to his proud parents, Billy Jean, and Prudencio Camara, and the family set down their roots in Hinton, West Virginia. After passing the state board, Dr. Camara, established his medical practice and became a U.S. citizen. Receiving a truly "All American" upbringing-up, Mecot, like so many other excitement seeking young Americans, ansered his countries call and joined the Marines. At his 1981 boot camp graduation ceremony, Pvt. Camara marched as a memeber of his battalion's  color guard. Mecot was now a proud Marine. His family memebers, and his sweetheart, attended the graduation. Elisa writes, "We were raised by a Filipino father who valued our freedoms and conveyed that message every day. Our Mom, Dad and small town had really installed in all of us, especially Mecot, those core values that created the Marine in him." The Marine married the love of his life, Tammy and together they had a son named Echo.

In time, with hard work and attention to detail, Mecot achieved the exalted rank of Sergeant in his beloved Corps. On May 29, 1983 the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) arrived in Beirut and relieved the 22nd MAU. Battalion Landing Team 1/8 moved into a four story building the 22nd had used as thier barracks. The battalion patrolled the area that surrounded the Beirut airport.

Times were turbulent as the country was being violently contested by competing private militias, and various Islamic fundamentalist elements. The Marines were tasked with a mission far from what they had been trained to perform. Their vague orders were to: "provide a presence and keep the peace," smack in the middle of a chaotic, and often violent, Lebanese civil war.

On 23 October 1983, the unthinkable happened; a suicide bomber weaved through serveral guarded check points and drove a bomb-filled truck into the lobby of the barracks which housed many of the battalion's troops. The force of the blast arched the large building up, then down again, in a tangled mass of rubble and suffocating dust. The building, it was siad, collapsed like a house of cards; 241 of America's highly trained servicemen were killed, including Sgt. Camara. As you may fully understand Mecot's family and firends, along with Americans everywhere, were devastated by this totally unexpected act of aggression.

Ms. Camara's tender feelings for her brother in this volume are palatable. This beautiful tribute to her brother and the Marines that died on that terrible day are, at once both chilling and uplifting. Her intent, of course, is to remind us of their sacrifice. How good is this book? "Americna Brother" has been chosen as one of the ten finalists for the prestigious 2014 "Alexander (book) Award."

Long before 9/11, Marines everywhere came to understand that we were at war with a ruthless assemblage of treacherous terrorists. Marines, of course, will forever recall the heartrending loss of our brothers; however Ms. Camara's earnest retelling of this tragedy will surely serve to remind other of the genesis of our, seemingly, never ending struggle with violent Islamic fundamentals factions. If the Marine hymn can be believed, my hunch is that as each memeber of the Camara family approaches the fabled gates of haven, Sgt. Camara, and his platoon of Beirut Marine guards, will smartly snap to attention and welcome them aboard!

Don Inns

U.S. Marine Corps. Beirut Vet

American Brother is an American love story. It's a story of a young Marine's love of God, Country, Corps, and Family. It's also a story of a little sister's love for her big brother. The author, Elisa Camara, puts Hinton, WV on the map, her only brother, Sgt. Mecot Camara, in our hearts, and the Beirut bombing in our collective conscience.

I always knew Mecot was squared away. Now I know why. Whether defending his sister's honor in high school or his nation's interest in the Middle East, the reader catches the essence of the making of Mecot. Born of a Filipono-American father and an all-American mother from Kentucky, Mecot matured beyond his years. From the football field of Hinton to the battlefield of Beirut, Mecot was a leader.

Mecot anMecot and his Marines were attached to my unit, Charlie Company 1/8, for much of our tour in Beirut. As the late Captain Michael Haskell noted, "Sgt. Camara's section has been an integral part of Co. C's performance at two of its most vital, visible, and tactically significant areas. Of particular note were Sgt. Camara's performance and demonstrated courage, presence of mind, tactical proficiency, and leadership during sevearal occasions when his section's positions were subjected to intense direct and indirect fire." Glorious praise from a Marine (Mustang) Officer held in high esteem.

Ironically, Mecot was sharp enough to follow in Captain Haskell's combat boots and become a Drill Instructor and even an Officer. Mecot caught on quickly and picked up rank even quicker. In Beirut, he kept his men busy fortifying their positions and reinforcing our patrols. I regret not getting to know him on a more personal level, but feel I do now thanks to American Brother.

In the bitter end, Mecot died the way he lived: fighting to hold on, surrounded by Marines, humbly, and heroically. He left behind a young wife, infant son, and a legacy. After the bombing, Marine Corps Commandant General P.Z. Kelley asked, "Lord, where do we get such men?" Americna Brother answers this question: they came in peace from famillies like the Camara's and place like Hinton.

Elisa ends her journey where Mecot began his: Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC where, "Through this portal pass prospects for the world's finest fighting forrce: United States Marine Corps." She seems to find solace in knowing that the cause her big brother believed in and died for marches on. By honoring her "American Brother" Elisa pays tribute to all who have entered that protal and earned the title.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends ~John 15:12

Elisa's love of Mecot is as close as it gets.