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Tapper tells story of American valor at outpost in Afghanistan

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:30 am

The day after Jake Tapper’s son was born, eight sons died during an attack at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan in 2009.

After already spending two years investigating the events at the camp and interviewing more than 225 people who played important roles, both at home and abroad, the ABC News senior White House correspondent’s research gained new meaning.

“The journalist and the father in me needed to know why those lives were lost,” he said.

Tapper will sign copies of his book, “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” Saturday at the Clear Creek Main Exchange.

Complete with photographs and maps, the book details the sacrifices made during one of America’s deadliest battles in Afghanistan at Combat Outpost Keating.

Tapper said Fort Hood is an important stop for his book tour because of the its involvement with the post in Afghanistan.

Soldiers from 1st Infantry Division’s Headquarters and

Headquarters Troop, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, which was then stationed at Fort Hood, deployed to the region in 2008.

“(The unit’s) rotation at Combat Outpost Keating was pivotal,” Tapper said. “Many of the characters whose stories are most moving ... were part of the Fort Hood community at the time.”

Tapper, who traveled to Afghanistan multiple times while writing the book, said it details the Oct. 3, 2009, attack. The 53 troops stationed there were outnumbered by nearly 400 Taliban fighters and the attack became one of the war’s deadliest battles for U.S. Forces.

After a Pentagon investigation concluded there was no reason for the post — which was stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains and has since been closed — to be there in the first place, Tapper wanted to investigate why it was there and why those lives were recklessly lost.

He hopes non-military audiences will gain an understanding of what troops and their families go through and sacrifice for their country.

“For military audiences, a takeaway might be looking at the history of an outpost through four, or more, rotations there, since so often troops are really only nominally aware of what came before and what happened afterwards,” he said. “They’re stretched so thin and focused primarily on their task at hand.”

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