United States Air Force Pararescuemen, or as they are more commonly known, PJs, are arguably one of the most elite military forces in the world. Navy SEALS tend to get a lot of attention but PJs are a quieter breed of special operators. They have a unique mission set, undertaking a variety of rescues, both at home and abroad. From plucking civilians out of raging seas, treacherous mountainsides and natural disasters, to recovering downed pilots behind enemy lines. They do it all. “That Others May Live” tells the story of one such hero, Jack Brehm, and comrades. It is the story of his journey from longhaired hippie teenager to expertly trained hero, although he would likely not refer to himself as such. It is an autobiographical account of what he had to do to become a PJ and his career once he joined the elite force and it covers these aspects primarily from his perspective.
It is engaging, full of exciting rescues, personal struggles and significant moments in Brehm’s life and the lives of his friends and family. It appears to be a clear picture of the life of pararescue, the training pipeline, life at home and deployed, the adventures of the job, the internal struggle over the desire to do the job and the knowledge that to do so requires someone else to be in grave danger, and even life after the Air Force for several of his teammates. There are other books about the PJs that are a more constant thrill ride but this one tells a more complete story. At times it was a little bit slow, reading a little bit like a history book, but overall it is a well-written, easy read.