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.

Chopper: A History of America Military Helicopter Operations from WWII to the War on Terror

Title: Chopper: A History of America Military Helicopter Operations from WWII to the War on Terror
Author: Bob Dorr
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B000IMV8A6

Real-life stories from the pilots and the passengers.

From its first use in military operations, during a rescue mission behind enemy lines in 1944, to its crucial role in Vietnam, to the Black Hawk combat copters in the current war on terror, the helicopter changed the face of aviation-and the face of warfare. Whether they are bringing supplies and medical help or coming to the rescue of trapped soldiers, the modern battlefield could not function without them.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Dorr, Bob

Poems in the Keys of Life: Reflections of a Combat Medic

Title: Poems in the Keys of Life: Reflections of a Combat Medic
Author: Kerry "Doc" Pardue
Genre: Poetry, Book of Poetry
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1413771947

I have been many things over the past 57 years of my life. I have been a brother, son, friend, husband, father, soldier, medic, police officer, detective, letter carrier, college recruiter, grandfather, and now, poet. These poems are a reflective journey to find healing after the war in Vietnam. Thirty-five years ago I was a combat medic. When I came home, I was determined to put Vietnam behind me. Somehow, deep within my heart, soul, and spirit, Vietnam was a part of who and what I became. Finally, my journey to healing began, and these poems are the result of that journey, 35 years later. They will make you cry, laugh, and appreciate friendships. They are my road map to a place I call home. I only hope that other soldiers, medics, nurses, and doctors will be able to find a way to their home. So grab a beverage and curl up and join with me on the journey together as we find peace, hope, friendships, love and yes, even healing.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Pardue, Kerry "Doc"

Surviving Deployment

Title: Surviving Deployment
Author: Karen Pavlicin
Genre: Non-Fiction, Reference
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0965748367

As part of today's active duty or reserve forces, your loved one may be called to war, peacekeeping missions, anti-terrorism campaigns, field exercises, disaster relief, and many other duties far from home--and you.
Surviving Deployment is your personal guide to turning an otherwise lonely and challenging situation into a positive experience.

Learn what to expect, how to prepare, and how to personally grow as individuals and families. Your survival gear will range from a sturdy toilet plunger to the fine art of letter writing. You'll manage financial changes, help children express their feelings, and discover a renewed appreciation for everyday life.

Solid information. Practical checklists. Personal stories from hundreds of families.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Pavlicin, Karen

One Bullet Away – The making of a Marine Officer

Title: One Bullet Away – The making of a Marine Officer
Author: Nathaniel Fick
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military, Memoir
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B002ECETVS

If the Marines are “the few, the proud,” Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Nathaniel Fick’s career begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, after his junior year at Dartmouth. He leads a platoon in Afghanistan just after 9/11 and advances to the pinnacle—Recon— two years later, on the eve of war with Iraq. His vast skill set puts him in front of the front lines, leading twenty-two Marines into the deadliest conflict since Vietnam. He vows to bring all his men home safely, and to do so he’ll need more than his top-flight education. Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders and shares his hard-won insights into the differences between military ideals and military practice, which can mock those ideals.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Fick, Nathaniel

Year Of Absence, A

Title: A Year Of Absence
Author: Jessica Redmond
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0965748316

A Year of Absence follows the lives of six women whose husbands, all members of the U.S. Army’s First Armored Division based in Germany, deploy to Iraq in April 2003. A young lieutenant’s wife comes dangerously close to alcoholism. Marriages are pushed to the breaking point by the constant strain of fifteen months apart. Each morning the women anxiously scan the headlines, wondering if they still have a husband, if their children still have a father. Some form friendships that become their lifeline. Others somehow find courage despite their isolation. Through tearful goodbyes, long-awaited communication from the front, and joyful yet troubled reunions, A Year of Absence captures what life is like for many families of deployed soldiers: the ever-present fear of death, the pressures of single-parenthood, and the strength and comfort that come with the support of close friends. Book excerpt Jena was strolling home from walking the dog when she noticed an official U.S. Army car carrying two soldiers in Class A uniforms heading toward her street. She felt her pulse quicken and, without meaning to, she started doing the math. If the soldiers stopped at her building, there was a one-in-twenty-four chance that Adam was dead. If they stopped at her stairwell, it was one-in-eight. Don’t come down here, she prayed silently. Please let it be somebody else.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Redmond, Jessica

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