Check out these Amazing Endorsements for At First Light

“This story is extraordinary: an almost forgotten hero, tough combat, tragic sacrifice, gripping aftermath, a marvelous horse, and an astonishing ending. Don’t miss reading this remarkable book. At First Light is a way for you to join me in remembering and honoring the story of our World War II heroes, those selfless Americans who put it all on the line downrange, day after difficult day, in crushing heat and numbing cold, in the toughest conditions, against the most challenging, resilient, often barbaric enemy to liberate Europe and to help safeguard our freedom and liberty here at home.”

Gen. David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret.) four-star general, former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and former Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan


“As a graduate of West Point, an Army officer for five years, and the head men’s basketball coach at my alma mater and at Duke for the past forty-six seasons, I’ve been blessed to be a part of great teams. I recognize the commitment and discipline required to win at the highest level. These experiences leave me in awe of Phil Larimore and his servant leadership, sensational suffering, and stoic sacrifice. What a fantastic story about a leader whose courage on the battlefield deserves a standing ovation. I highly recommend At First Light.”

—Mike Krzyzewski, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Duke University and Naismith Hall of Fame member


“I’ve known Walt Larimore for many years and have tremendous respect for him. He has always been a great storyteller, and the real-life account of his father’s experiences in World War II shared in his new book, At First Light, are riveting. This is a fascinating story of an American hero whose leadership and sacrifice are truly inspirational.”

—Joe Gibbs, five-time NASCAR Cup Series champion (as team owner), three-time Super Bowl champion (as a coach), two-time NFL Coach of the Year, inductee into the NFL and NASCAR Halls of Fame, and bestselling author of Game Plan for Life and Game Plan for Loss


“I spent thirty-eight years in the logistics world in peace and war, ultimately supporting the warfighter in every contingency since 1983. That’s what made At First Light such an absorbing read for me. Walt Larimore’s meticulous research brings his father back to life and speaks to me of combat fortitude, unimaginable courage, and front-line action. This outstanding work also brought into focus my own father’s service and sacrifice as a tank commander in the Ardennes. This story is one you cannot afford to miss.”

—Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, U.S. Army (Ret.) and the first woman to achieve the rank of four-star General in United States military history     


“I’m the author of fifteen novels set in World War II, so I’m always drawn to a great story from a fascinating time in history. At First Light does not disappoint. The pages turned quickly in this compelling story about a brave man, Philip Larimore.”

—Tricia Goyer, author of Dawn of a Thousand Nights and Songbird Under a German Moon


“It’s said that 2nd lieutenants in World War II had one of the shortest lifespans of anyone entering combat. And no wonder: They could not cower in a foxhole waiting for someone else to lead the way, to get up and walk into enemy fire. No matter how exhausted or frightened they were, they could not shirk their duty of being an example for their men (boys, really). Usually only in their early-to mid-twenties, they shouldered responsibilities that would have overwhelmed older men. The combat experiences of Phil Larimore, as captured by his son in this terrific and inspirational book, are a testament to the grit and fortitude of a generation who really knew the meaning of duty and personal sacrifice for the greater good.”

—Flint Whitlock, former U.S. Army captain, and editor of WWII Quarterly magazine


“I spent the majority of my life fighting battles on the football field—thirty years in the National Football League, nine Super Bowls, and legendary classics like the famous ‘Ice Bowl.’ I’ve told my ‘war stories’ from the NFL for years, but none of my tales come close to the captivating story shared by Walt Larimore in At First Light, a war story about his father who fought to protect the very freedoms you and I enjoy in this country we love.”

—Dan Reeves, Super Bowl Champion and record-setting NFL player and coach


At First Light is one of the most fascinating stories of World War II I have ever read. If you love history like I do, this book is a must read. Near the end of the war, a courageous young US Army officer, Phil Larimore, is given an almost impossible clandestine mission—to find Hitler’s hidden Lipizzaners so they can be saved. Don’t miss this heartwarming true story of a great American hero.”

—Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, U.S. Army (Ret.) three-star general, former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush, and former Commander Delta Force and U.S. Army Special Operations Command


“As the son and nephew of several World War II veterans, I never grow tired of reading about their heroics. The story of Phil Larimore is the most compelling and riveting of them all. At a time when we need real heroes more than ever, this story should inspire, bless, and encourage every American.”

—Cal Thomas, nationally syndicated columnist


At First Light is an amazing story of a remarkable young infantry officer. Phil Larimore embodies all the attributes we associate with “Duty, Honor, Country.” I was extremely impressed that such a young officer commanded with bravery and courage beyond his years. Phil Larimore’s courageousness is only surpassed by his extraordinary selflessness and concern for his troops. This book is a must read so that we never forget the sacrifices of this greatest generation.”

—Gen. Gary Luck, U.S. Army (Ret.) four-star general and former Commander of CFC/UNC/USFK in South Korea (1993-1996)


“The children of America’s wounded warriors share a special bond. We know firsthand what that red stripe in Old Glory means and respect every bloodstained story of valor behind it. Whether or not you come from a patriotic home, Walt Larimore’s masterful and moving account of his father’s sacrifice in World War II will make you proud to be an American.”

—Tara McClary Reeves, daughter of Vietnam War hero Clebe McClary and author of Is Your Dad a Pirate?


“I teach writers that readers love to be entertained and educated, but that they never forget when they’ve been emotionally moved. Walt Larimore’s true tale of his own father’s exploits in World War II scores in spades on all three counts. Exhaustive without being exhausting, At First Light may just keep you up till first light.”

—Jerry B. Jenkins, twenty-one-time New York Times best-selling novelist and biographer and founder of the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild


“I love World War II books, and none is better than At First Light. It’s like a combination of Band of Brothers and War Horse—or perhaps a mixture of Unbroken and Seabiscuit. A mesmerizing page-turner not to be missed.”

 —Pat Williams, co-founder of the NBA’s Orlando Magic and former general manager of NBA teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, and the 1983 World Champion Philadelphia 76ers

“A great story about a great soldier and leader. Phil Larimore was a Dick Winters from the Band of Brothers-type of frontline, small-unit combat leader, the kind who make all the difference as to who wins or loses and who lives or dies in war. The storyline with the horses and the twists and turns of his love life and military career adds to the compelling narrative. At First Light has the makings of a great movie or Ken Burns miniseries. My bet is that Phil’s son and the book author, Walt Larimore, will be besieged by offers.”

—Col. Alexander P. Shine, U.S. Army, Infantry (Ret.), Masters in U.S. History from Harvard, Professor of Military Science and National Security Strategy at the Army War College


“Intelligently written and descriptively rich, At First Light is tailor-made for anyone who cherishes powerful World War II stories.”

—Marcus Brotherton, New York Times best-selling author of We Who Are Alive and Remain and Blaze of Light


“Call my agent! At First Light needs to be greenlighted for a multi-episodic film series today. I loved reading about Philip Larimore’s personal journey before, during and after World War II. While being a compelling and enjoyable story, the book doesn’t hold back on the gruesome realities of war and left me grateful for the young soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.”

—Gerry Gacek, singer/songwriter and screenwriter


“Fortitude and sacrifice—that’s the story of Phil Larimore. His son, Walt Larimore, has put together a leadership narrative played out by the youngest Army officer in World War II. All Americans need to read this book so they can understand that ‘freedom is not free’ and was won on countless battlefields throughout our history. At First Light will instill in you a commitment to continue the battle by honoring the sacrifices of this great soldier.”

—Lt. General Bruce Fister, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) three-star general, and author of Growing and Building: Faith, Prayer, and Leadership


“As an individual who has committed his life to the training and education of our next generation, At First Light was a powerful and meaningful reminder of the service and sacrifice that have been made by so few, to enable the freedoms we all enjoy today in this great nation. While reading the pages, I reflected on Phil Larimore’s courage in the face of intense combat and was humbled by his willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

—Mark D. Bieger, Vice President of Strategy, Louisiana State University


“Every generation of warriors stands on the shoulders of those who came before them. Reading about Phil Larimore fills you with an unspeakable sense of admiration for this member of the greatest generation. At First Light is much more than a story of combat; it’s a story of a young man who achieves greatness in unexpected ways.”

—Col. Lee Van Arsdale, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Special Forces Delta Squadron Commander who led the “Black Hawk Down” battle of Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993


“It would be so easy for a tale with so much true horror and heartbreak to be a heavy, depressing experience, and to leave the reader saddened. What Walt Larimore has managed to achieve is a story that doesn’t shy away from the true facts of war but manages to deliver them in such a way that the result is ultimately hopeful, uplifting, and serves as a reminder that soldiers are ultimately people, not numbers. I found myself hurrying onward through the pages whenever Phil was injured, sighing deeply at his setbacks, and tearing up with joy at the end.”

—Mal Windsor, copyeditor of At First Light


“A captivating and compelling story of a true American hero. As the son of a World War II veteran, At First Light made me reflect on the great dedication and sacrifice embodied in Phil Larimore, who fought to protect everything that is great about America. His courage and leadership in the face of intense combat shows what is deep in the heart of every soldier. Thanks, Walt Larimore, for sharing your amazing father with us!”

Lt. General R.L. VanAntwerp, U.S. Army (Ret) three-star general and former Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


At First Light is an astonishing story. As a former infantry officer, I appreciate the grit, ingenuity, and tenacity of the front-line U.S. Army Lieutenants in World War II. Phil Larimore, as an eighteen-year-old platoon leader and company commander on the front lines, demonstrated remarkable leadership while facing horrifying odds of his own mortality and that of his soldiers. But Phil’s story doesn’t end there, as what he accomplished after the war is even more compelling. At First Light is a superb story of courage, honor, and sacrifice.”

—Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, U.S. Army (Ret.) three-star general, formerly the 29th President of the University of South Carolina and the 59th Superintendent of West Point


“All wars are full of tragedies, and World War II was no exception. The list of those maimed and killed, and whose lives were interrupted through no fault of their own, was in the millions. Such a magnitude of despair can easily overshadow the good in humans. Phil Larimore made the world a better place, and his son Walt has made World War II literature better as well with his labor of love, At First Light.”

Col. French L. MacLean, U.S. Army (Ret.) and author of Custer’s Best and The Fifth Field


“My husband Troy and I survived the Route 91 mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, even though Troy took a bullet to the leg. We were shot at for ten minutes. Phil Larimore was shot at for nearly 400 days. What an incredible story!”

—Shannon Zeeman, co-author of Active Shooter: How to Survive the Most Important Four Minutes of Your Life


At First Light features all the elements of a Hollywood blockbuster. But unlike most books turned into films, At First Light isn’t based on a fictional character. This is the true-life account of an indomitable Army officer, supported by years of meticulous research, creating an unforgettable masterpiece of military history.”

—Dan Brownell, Marine Corps Infantry and Artillery, 2nd Marine Division, 1981–1985


“Outstanding personal history of an infantry officer during the Second World War. The book covers the experiences of Phil Larimore from Anzio, to the invasion of southern France, to the invasion of southern Germany. The personal accounts and experiences make this book a valuable addition to military history libraries.”

—Col. Raymond Millen, PhD, U.S. Army (Ret.), professor of Security Sector Reform at the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, U.S. Army War College


“As the author of a book on Frances Slanger, the first nurse to die after the landings at Normandy, I was thrilled to read how she inspired Lieutenant Phil Larimore while he was recuperating from his wounds in a French hospital. Better yet, I was deeply moved by the way Walt Larimore and Mike Yorkey crafted Phil Larimore’s unbelievable stories into a gripping five-star read!”

—Bob Welch, award-winning journalist and author of American Nightingale: The Forgotten Story of Frances Slanger, Forgotten Heroine of Normandy


At First Light returned me to my time as a 2nd lieutenant in the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. It made me feel like I was walking side-by-side with Phil Larimore and is an excellent firsthand account of the trials and tribulations of frontline officers in combat.”

—Lt. Col. Patrick A. Schado, U.S. Army, Aviation/Infantry (Ret.)


At First Light is not a ‘horse story,’ but I loved the way horses and horsemanship played starring roles in this fascinating story about a World War II hero.”

—Cyndy Feasel, author of After the Cheering Stops: An NFL’s Wife Story of Concussions, Loss, and the Faith That Saw Her Through


“Just when you think you’ve read every World War II story there is, along comes 2nd Lieutenant Phil Larimore, a young man—a teenager, actually—from Memphis who participates in one heroic action after another in some of the deadliest fighting in the war.”

—SFC Ryan Hendrickson, U.S. Army (Ret.), author of Tip of the Spear: The Incredible Story of an Injured Green Beret’s Return to Battle


“As someone who’s undergone plenty of hardship, I identified with Phil Larimore’s story of deprivation and trials. He deserves to be called a hero.” 

—Elishaba Doerksen, author of Out of the Wilderness


“As a veteran of Southeast Asia and a World War II buff, I was excited to read At First Light. What I wasn’t expecting was the true story that unfolded before me—and what a story it is! At First Light is about the life of heavily decorated Philip Larimore Jr., from childhood to commanding men in battle during some of World War II’s biggest battles. The story follows him from the day he landed in Naples, Italy, to the south of France, and on to Germany. I’m not sure why we have never heard about this true American hero before, but I won’t forget him now.”

—Ross Mitchell, U.S. Air Force sergeant (1972–1976)


“The recreation of epic battles that Lieutenant Phil Larimore found himself in—including the hand-to-hand combat—kept me firmly gripped. This is a real war story.”

—Casey Diaz, author of The Shot Caller: A Latino Gangbanger’s Miraculous Escape from a Life of Violence to a New Life in Christ


“Philip Larimore Jr. was born just before the Great Depression. His parents taught him to be independent, hard-working, and self-sufficient. On his trips to a family farm, he learned to swim, shoot, and ride and care for horses. These lessons formed who Larimore was as a soldier and human being, leading to his extraordinary military accomplishments during World War II. Philip Larimore’s story is similar to Audie Murphy’s as depicted in the movie To Hell and Back. Both illustrate how small-unit leadership can make the difference in winning wars. The intertwining of the stories of Larimore’s military career, love life, and Lipizzaner horses makes for a great read.”

—Maj. Thomas A. Devaney, U.S.M.C. Heavy Helicopter Squadron, 1971–1983


“This is a heckuva story about an incredible hero that reads like a movie. I felt like I was sitting across a table at Starbucks listening to Walt Larimore telling his father’s story. As a professional editor, I initially thought At First Light should have ended when the wounded hero came home. Boy, was I ever wrong! The stunning last section was a great way to end the book and left me with a lump in my throat.”

—Lois Johnson Rew, author of Editing for Writers


“In these dark days, we need a hero and Phil Larimore’s story certainly provides one. His dedication to those around him while maintaining a steadfast devotion to duty makes him a role model for us all. At First Light is a story you enter instead of read. I have two sons who served in Operation Desert Storm and a grandson who is career Army and served in Afghanistan. All of whom will get a copy of At First Light.”

—Del Weightman, U.S. Air Force Captain (Ret.) and B-52 Electronics Warfare Officer


“This fresh story from World War II will appeal to readers everywhere. I was incredibly inspired by Phil Larimore, with his selflessness, struggles and triumphs, from the very first page. Meticulously researched, At First Light is an irresistible, compelling read.”

—Col. Christopher Scharf, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), former UH-1N/AH-1W pilot and veteran of operations in Iraq