2008
11.01

On the 30th of October Andy was the Guest speaker at the National Army Museum in Chelsea London. Gary Curtis was lucky enough to get a ticket and he wrote us a review: 

National Army Museum, London
19.00 hours

I sit in the shop come cafe eating my muffin pondering if a 33 year old man like myself can justify buying the Action Man I can see on the shelf in front of me, even if he does come with full SAS black assault gear.

There was a certain amount of excited browsing going on from the people gathered here waiting to hear a talk from the SAS hero and author, Andy McNab!

I for one was very happy to buy Brute Force, the new Nick Stone thriller a week or so before it’s official release.

We all moved down to a rather grand room in the museum, took our seats and after a short bit of faffing about out comes Andy McNab, ahhh, so that’s what he looks like!

Andy starts by telling us his story in the army. From a young boy facing a life of crime to the Green Jackets and the various tours of Northern Ireland. His main motivation at this point was to buy cars between the tours and write them off! Next onto selection for the SAS. Andy mentioned his work in the regiment and the funny first meeting of his new mates in Seven Troop.

After Bravo Two Zero he said the MOD were keen for him to write about his experiences in Iraq. How this led to a best seller and his work in the media for newspapers and TV. Several trips to see the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown him that the current British soldier is the best equipped of any generation of soldiers the UK has had, particularly the Osprey body armour which has stopped 50 cal rounds. He also mentioned the trauma care in Basra is the best in the world and doctors are keen to do a tour there to gain experience.

Andy mentioned a lot of people back in the UK are concerned about he amount of soldiers getting injured but he said 5 years ago they would have been killed instead.

Questions.

Andy offered to answer any questions the audience may have. Of course there was so many questions and so little time!

Firstly Andy was asked about PTSD and how it effected both friends of his in the Regiment and how army is much better in recognising it in soldiers today. He mentioned that the MOD were supportive of Andy writing Seven Troop and bring PTSD to the publics attention. He also mentioned his work for Help for Heroes. When asked how he was feeling, Andy said he barks at the moon every Thursday!

Secondly he was asked about women not being able to fight on the front line and Andy said that he had witnessed female soldiers fighting and there is no issues with it. He said that the lack of a front line is giving them a chance which isn’t often reported.

Andy was asked about the armed police being used more and more and how and when the SAS would be called in on counter terrorism duties. Andy said that the regiment would be used as the police do not use explosive entry. The SAS would always be called for any jobs that involved this.

There was talk on how his friends reacted to the success of Bravo Two Zero and some were jealous but most were very supportive. Sadly time ran out and there was a huge round of applause from us fans!

Book signing.

I was about fifth in line for the book signing, I was keen. Before hand I decided to take Bravo Two Zero, my original paperback as this was the book that got me hooked on McNab’s writing. My turn came. I walked up and put it down for Andy to sign, he laughed and said “that’s an old one”. He wrote ‘buy new one! Andy McNab’ in it! Next up was my wife with my Brute Force book and she asked Andy to sign it for me. ‘Two R’s or one’? he asked.

I was always nervous about meeting my heroes but Andy was down to earth and friendly. Once signed I shook hands with Andy, I got a grin and that was that!

No dramas!

Andy McNab signed Gary Curtis' book