Military Medley

Secret Soldiers by Philip Gerard

Secret Soldiers by Philip Gerard

They were masters of the craft of illusion and deception, and their greatest disappearing act was to vanish from history. The men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops were recruited to become phantom warriors in a ghost army to help win the Battle of Europe. A thousand strong, they fought in more campaigns, from D Day to the Rhine River, with more Allied armies, than any other unit in the European Theater of Operations - yet, not even their fellow American soldiers were aware of their...

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Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

As many readers of the Dispatches Newsletter might be aware, "Make Peace or Die" is the motto of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. For Charles Daly, it became a regular choice he would have to make, time and again, over the course of his entire life.  "Make Peace or Die: A Life of Service, Leadership, and Nightmares" is everything the name promises it to be. At times terrifying, the book is always engrossing and descriptive. It’s one of the finest personal recollections of the Korean War...

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Firehammer by Ric Hunter

Firehammer by Ric Hunter

If you'd like to know what it's like to pilot a high-performance jet in training and combat - without risk and actually having to get into one - you cannot do better than to read Ric Hunter's just published 'Firehammer.' A resident of Burnsville, retired Col. Hunter had 27 years and 4,000 hours of high-performance jet time, and was commander of an F-15 C Eagle squadron. His book describes the last days of the Vietnam War, including the SS Mayaquez rescue and the final evacuation of military...

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The Good Soldier by Paul C. Steffy

The Good Soldier by Paul C. Steffy

The Good Soldier by Paul C. Steffy The second novel by Army veteran Paul C. Steffy, The Good Soldier is a story of a young volunteer who suffers deeply as a result of his service. Alcoholism, multiple failed marriages, and recurring nightmares: Brad Thomas is in a pit of regrets with no recourse. None, that is, except confronting his trauma and returning to Vietnam to deal with the consequences of breaking a promise which he’d exchanged for an unexpected gift.Despite its dark subject matter,...

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The Boys on Cherry Street by Ron Boehm

The Boys on Cherry Street by Ron Boehm

Tens of thousands of books have been written on the Vietnam War. Thousands more are in the process of being written, and thousands more are being considered by other veterans. Such books inevitably deal with heroic actions and stories of courage and sacrifice.  Boehm brilliant book also includes stories about heroes and their courage, but he wrote the book to be a different kind of book on Vietnam. He was highly successful. It is a collection of the experiences of Boehm and his friends doing a...

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Maj Clark Gable, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1947)

Maj Clark Gable, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1947)

Clark Gable, of the U.S. Army Air Forces between 1942 and 1947, is best known as the ‘King of Hollywood’, the womanizing man’s man with a filmography of over 60 productions. However, he had a passion for flying combat missions and defied death in World War II. Born William Clark Gable in 1901, his father Will was an oil-well driller living in Cadiz, Ohio. Baptized Catholic, his mother Adeline died when he was just ten months old, and his father refused to raise him in the faith. Gable’s father...

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Events in the Life of an Ordinary Man by Richard R. Pariseau

Events in the Life of an Ordinary Man by Richard R. Pariseau

In his introduction, the author wrote: "ordinary implies middle-class Americans without special privileges of wealth or title." He was referring to his own family in Attleboro, Mass. When one reads the entire book, however, one learns he is a modern renaissance man and a high achiever who excelled in sports, academics, science, military and almost anything he set his mind to - as well as a few failures. He referred to it as a cumulative assortment of life experiences that were humorous, others...

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Rucksack Grunt by Robert Kuhn

Rucksack Grunt by Robert Kuhn

Rucksack Grunt author Robert Kuhn served in the US Army between 1970 and 1972 in the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry. He ventured out of the suburbs of Pennsylvania into the dangerous jungles and mountains of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. In his book, Kuhn details the traumatic and even disturbing encounters he experienced as a ‘rucksack-carrying grunt’ on his tour of duty. Vietnam vets and those who love them alike have found common ground and insight in Kuhn’s writing.  Kuhn was just a...

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PFC Sixto Escobar, US Army (1941-1945)

PFC Sixto Escobar, US Army (1941-1945)

Sixto Escobar, of the United States Army between 1941 and 1945, was Puerto Rico’s first world boxing champion, and International Boxing Hall of Fame member. Remembered today with the Estadio Sixto Escobar, the San Juan home of River Plate Puerto Rico, as well as many buildings, roads, and statues, he is a favored son of the island territory. Not as many people know, though, that he served in the military during the Second World War as an Army PFC. Remembering Sixto Escobar Escobar was born in...

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Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, of the US Navy between 1942 and 1946, interrupted a prominent career as a film actor in order to serve his country when it needed him most. Fonda’s commanding screen presence made him a favorite of theatergoers for five decades, culminating in an Oscar for his final performance. Henry Fonda’s Stage Beginnings Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1905, Fonda was the son of a printer. Raised in Omaha, he witnessed and was profoundly affected by the horrors of the Omaha race riot...

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Once a Warrior by Jake Wood

Once a Warrior by Jake Wood

When Marine sniper Jake Wood arrived in the States after two bloody tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was not leaving war behind him - far from it. Ten years after returning home, Jake's unit lost more men to suicide than to enemy hands overseas.  He watched in horror as his best friend and fellow Marine, Clay Hunt, plunged into depression upon returning, stripped of his purpose, community, and sense of identity. Despite Jake's attempts to intervene, Clay died by suicide, alone. Reeling,...

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Refined by Fire by Ruth Vandyke and Yvonne Doll

Refined by Fire by Ruth Vandyke and Yvonne Doll

Privates Joyce Kutsch and Rita Johnson became the first women to graduate from a modified Basic Airborne Course on December 14, 1973. In 2007, Army medic Specialist Monica Lin Brown was only the second female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star. Eight women were admitted to Army Ranger School for the first time in 2015. All failed, but three were invited back for another try. Obviously, these were historical inroads in what had been the male soldiers' exclusive domain and...

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