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.

Separated by Duty, United in Love

Book Title: Separated by Duty, United in Love
Author: Shellie Vandevoorde
Reviewed by: Edward Cox
Genre: Non-fiction Sub-Category: How-to/ Business

ISBN (for Amazon store): B004W9CWPQ

Where Can You Turn. . .?
. . .when the bills are due, the kids are acting out, loneliness and doubt are creeping into your quiet hours--and you're handling it all alone? If your partner is in the military, these challenges may be the greatest that your relationship will ever face. Now is the time you need answers, resources, and understanding. This is the book that will give them to you.

Military wife and U.S. Army veteran Shellie Vandevoorde has penned a practical, compassionate guide to help military couples cope with the separation of active deployment. Now updated and expanded, Separated by Duty, United in Love is infused with her years of experience, offering sound and comforting advice from someone who's been there. Vandevoorde explores real-life issues and shares invaluable insights on the best ways to:

Keep the lines of communication open while your partner is away
Address your children's fears as you cope with your own
Juggle finances and other household duties
Find the balance you desperately need
Cope with post-traumatic stress, injury and other challenges when a spouse returns from war
Utilize military resources and support groups to help yourself through the toughest times
You are not alone. Separated by Duty, United in Love gives you the tools and the encouragement you need to help your military relationship survive--and thrive.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Vandevoorde, Shellie

King of the Oilers: The Story of the USS Chiwawa AO-68

Title: King of the Oilers: The Story of the USS Chiwawa AO-68
Author: Jon Strupp
Genre: Military Sub-Category: Navy
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1592981917

With entry into World War II, the United States of America faced a daunting task of delivering men and material on two distant fronts on opposite ends of the world. Due to this, a logistical system was developed like never seen before. This book tells the story of the fleet oiler, USS Chiwawa AO-68. How both men and machine, not primarily designed for war, were called from civilian life to defend their country and become part of the backbone of the navy helping to tip the balance in the Allies favor. Loaded with cargo consisting of kerosene, gasoline, diesel oil, Navy Special Fuel Oil, top side cargo, and passengers, the Chiwawa participated in nine trans-Atlantic convoys, delivering the goods to the European theater. Facing bad weather and the imminent threat of U-boats, the Chiwawa performed the delicate job of refueling the escort ships protecting the convoy while underway. When the war in Europe was won, the Chiwawa was transferred to the Pacific theater to confront ever present mines and two typhoons. This often overlooked aspect of World War II is examined using U.S. Navy records, crew interviews, diaries, and letters written during the war, telling the Chiwawa's story through first-hand accounts of life at sea and land while visiting ports throughout Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Pacific. This story is unique because the Chiwawa avoided scrapping after the war to return to civilian use, and serves to the present day on the Great Lakes as the ore carrier M/V Lee A. Tregurtha.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Strupp, Jon

Beasts of Buchenwald, The

General book info.

ISBN (for MWSA Amazon store): 1934980714

The crime and punishment story of how Nazi SS Colonel Karl Koch and his wife Ilse ran Buchenwald, the most infamous concentration camp of Nazi Germany, where evil reigned unchecked and the inconceivable was commonplace

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Whitlock, Flint

Walking the Tiger’s Path: A Soldier’s Spiritual Journey in Iraq

Title: Walking the Tiger’s Path: A Soldier’s Spiritual Journey in Iraq
Author: Paul Kendel
Genre: Military Sub-Category: Army
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (for Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

Paul M. Kendel (SSG Ret.) deployed with his National Guard unit out of Georgia to Iraq in 2005 hoping to use his knowledge of that land to bridge the gap between American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. However, the realities of war crushed his idealism when his buddies began dying at the hands of the enemy six weeks after their arrival. Eventually, his ongoing concern for the Iraqi people alienated some of his comrades, and he felt the sting of growing conflict within himself.
Turning to the books on Buddhist teachings he had brought with him, he found solace in the written words, but he longed for more. On a whim, he emailed Shambhala International and requested assistance. An unexpected response and ongoing support from Buddhist teacher and meditation instructor Margot Neuman helped him to retain a sane and humble humanity in a situation that often plummeted into lethal insanity.

This book addresses the horrors of war from an extraordinary human perspective. SSG. Kendel did not lose his compassion in the face of grave risk, nor did he endanger fellow soldiers while he remained true to himself--rare feats in our violent world.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Kendal, Paul

Depictions: Poems about Warriors and War

Title: Depictions: Poems about Warriors and War
Author: Chuck Habermehl
Genre: Poetry Sub-Category: Book any size
Review by Gail Chatfield

ISBN (for Amazon store): 0972587640

For the first time, close quarters battle expert Chuck Habermehl, author of Combat Proven Tactic: Small Unit Urban Warfare and other tactical-training materials, delves into poetic writing - the content of which is not for the weak at heart. In Depictions: Poems about warriors and war, Habermehl puts the reader right there - you see the tactical and violent reality of war and the grievous effects on the warrior. Battles from the Civil War to modern war are detailed, as are the segregation of the American Indian, the devastation of the wounded warrior and the travesty of the missing soldier. As expected from a tactician, Habermehl's style is blunt and unceremonious, as seen in the poem Victory released on YouTube. The visual elements created from his writing, together with illustrations, reminds the reader that the price of freedom is tremendous and the ravages of war everlasting. Depictions has over 30 poems and is 78 pages. (Net proceeds from the sales of the book go to help American wounded warriors and their families.)

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Habermehl, Chuck

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