What makes 2nd Lieutenant Phil Larimore’s story special is what happened in World War II’s closing days and the people—and horses—he interacted with in this Forrest Gump-like tale that is emotional, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
Growing up in the 1930s in Memphis, Tennessee, Phil Larimore is the ultimate Boy Scout—able to read maps, put a compass to good use, and traverse wild swamps and desolate canyons. His other great skill is riding horses.
Phil does poorly in school, however, leading his parents send to him to a military academy. After Pearl Harbor, Phil realizes he is destined for war. Three weeks before his eighteenth birthday, he becomes the youngest candidate to ever graduate from Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Landing on the Anzio beachhead in February 1944, Phil is put in charge of an Ammunition Pioneer Platoon in the 3rd Infantry Division. Their job: deliver ammunition to the frontline foxholes—a dangerous assignment involving regular forays into No Man’s Land.
As Phil fights his way up the Italian boot, into Southern France and across the Rhine River into Germany, he is caught up in some of the most intense combat ever. But it’s what happens in the final stages of the war and his homecoming that makes Phil’s story incredibly special and heartwarming.
An emotional tale of courage, daring, and heroism, At First Light will remind you of the indomitable human spirit that lives in all of us.