American Shield

The Immigrant Sergeant Who Defended Democracy

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9781640096288 | Hardcover 6 x 9 | 336 pages Buy it Now

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Book Description

American Shield is an all-American tale of duty and determination—beautifully told by an immigrant, a veteran, and a patriot.” —Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Emerita of the United States House of Representatives

Set against the extraordinary events of January 6, 2021, Aquilino Gonell’s inspirational memoir is rooted in the joys and struggles of the immigrant experience that have long defined the American experiment

Aquilino Gonell came to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a young boy. Although he spoke no English, he dedicated himself to his adopted land, striving for the American dream. Determined to be a success story, he joined the army to pay for college. He saw action in Iraq and returned home with PTSD. Believing in the promise of our government, he focused on healing himself and supporting his family. His hard work paid off when he landed a coveted position with the United States Capitol Police and rose to the rank of sergeant.

January 6, 2021, changed everything. When insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, Gonell bravely faced down the mob attempting to thwart the peaceful transfer of power. The brutal injuries he sustained that day would end his career in law enforcement. But when some of the very people he put his life on the line to protect downplayed or denied the truth of that day, he chose to speak out against the injustice done to him and the country. Chronicling what it means to live a life of conviction, one that adheres to the best ideas of our democracy, American Shield is a bold testament to the power of truth, justice, and accountability from a highly decorated officer and immigrant who exemplifies the greatest aspirations of a grateful nation.

About the Authors

Praise For This Book

The Washington Post, A Most Anticipated Title

“Sergeant Aquilino Gonell’s story—of coming to America as a child, of overcoming adversity and discrimination, of stepping forward to defend Democracy, of refusing to stay silent in the face of injustice—is riveting. It was moving to read about his first visit to the United States Capitol as a student, marveling at the majesty of the Dome and in awe of its hallowed halls. Decades later, it was there at the Capitol where he would display extraordinary heroism on January 6th: recalling in raw and harrowing detail how he endured unimaginable brutality and lasting trauma, only to see many of those he risked his life to protect minimize that dark day. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to Sergeant Gonell for his courageous and continued service, speaking out to ensure that we all remember the truth of the insurrection. American Shield is an all-American tale of duty and determination—beautifully told by an immigrant, a veteran and a patriot.” —Nancy Pelosi, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives