Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart?

Title: How Can You Mend This Purple Heart?
Author: Terry L. Gould
Genre: Military, Navy
Reviewer: E. Franklin Evans

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1453861548

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a story about young American boys who left their homes for Vietnam and returned to the comforting and healing shelter of a military hospital; wounded, frightened and proud.

It is a story about their longing to recapture the spirit of boyhood and rekindle the optimism and fearlessness of youth. And, it's about their struggle to be whole again--or at the very least, to feel whole.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a based on a true story. It takes the reader into the world of a military hospital in 1969 and traces the lives of these Marines on a fifteen-month journey to recovery--and their triumph over the physical, mental and emotional wounds of war.

The hospital and the nearby streets and bars of south Philadelphia, became their home, and like any home, it was a place to gather, to belong, to struggle, to play, a place to find support and ultimately, a place to heal. And every day of healing brought them closer to the day they could go home. A day they would both cherish--and fear.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gould, Terry L.

Paper Dragon, Wooden Ship

Title: Paper Dragon, Wooden Ship
Author: Jack L. Wells
Genre: Military, Navy
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0741452405

US Navy operations aboard the sistership of the ill fated USS PUEBLO (AGER-2); and, Navy Market Time and Riverine combat and minesweeping during the Vietnam War 1968-1970

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Wells, Jack L.

War on the Rivers A Swift Boat Sailor's Chronicle of the Battle for the Mekong Delta

Title: War on the Rivers A Swift Boat Sailor's Chronicle of the Battle for the Mekong Delta
Author: Weymouth Symmes
Genre: Military, Navy
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1575101092

This book is a memoir of a four year enlistment in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, from service aboard the USS Ticonderoga as she engaged in the air war over North Vietnam, to service aboard U.S. Navy Swift boats in the Mekong Delta. Although the focus of the book is on the war on the rivers, the book also considers the consequences for the warrior upon the return home.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Symmes, Weymouth

Immediate Response

Title: Immediate Response
Author: Mark Hammond
Genre: Military, Marines
Reviewer: Dave Brown

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0141039043

2006 in Helmand saw British forces engaged in the most ferocious fighting since the Korean War. For much of the time they were hanging on by their fingertips, holed up in remote platoon houses, outnumbered, facing relentless assault and nearly overwhelmed. Only the Chinooks kept them in the game. But that meant their crews putting down in hot LZs, exposing their aircraft to withering attack from an enemy for whom downing one of the big helos would be the ultimate prize. They had been lucky. So far. Then they launched their biggest operation yet: a complicated, high-risk airborne assault that launched a fleet of heavily armed helicopters into the Afghan Heart of Darkness. And then a report came over the net that one of the Chinooks was down...In "Immediate Response", Major Mark Hammond, a Royal Marine flying with the RAF, tells the gripping inside story of the Chinook squadrons' war for the first time. It's a visceral, unputdownable combination of hi-tech and old-fashioned grit; an action-packed story shot through with a mix of aviation fuel and cordite...

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Hammond, Mark