The Gift of Significance: An Ordinary Soldier's Extraordinary Story of War by Robert DeBard

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MWSA Review

The Gift of Significance: An Ordinary Soldier’s Extraordinary Story of War is a gift of a story to readers. Told from “Smokin’ Joe” Brederson’s point of view, this honest account of a farm boy from Wisconsin’s journey through Army training, World War II, post-war France, and back home, is a significant work of military literature. Author Robert DeBard wrote this book in such a conversational manner that the reader experiences a closeness to Joe Brederson, genuinely seeing his emotions. 

Smokin’ Joe is anything but “ordinary.” He wants to fly, but he ends up training with the British commandos instead. Ironically, he ends up jumping out of the planes he was told he couldn’t fly due to his vertigo. He becomes one of the few to survive D-Day, parachuting in behind enemy lines. He continues fighting and standing up for his fellow soldiers in one hard battle after another. Besides Joe’s bravery, this book tells the story of a man who could be counted on time and again. But he’s not perfect, which helps paint the realistic picture of this man and those times.

This book is highly recommended for anyone looking for a glimpse into life during World War II. The author weaves in personal details and heartfelt feelings that make this book much more than just another war novel. At the end, the reader will be glad to have known Joe Brederson the man and his remarkable story.

Review by Valerie Ormond (Aug 2018)

MWSA's evaluation of this book found a number of technical problems--including some combination of misspellings, grammar, punctuation, or capitalization errors--which indicate that further editing would lead to a much-improved final product.


Author's Synopsis

The amazing story of "Smokin' Joe Bredeson reads like fiction, except that it's true. Kept to himself for more than 60 years, the first person account moves well beyond his medals of war to a place of authenticity few veterans have been willing to venture with a message of sacrifice and salvation as relevant today as it was when he lived it. From parachuting in behind enemy lines on D-Day as a member of the renowned "Screaming Eagles" to the Battle of the Buldge where, as an Army Ranger, he finally hit the wall of traumatic stress ending up in a self-described "Loony bin," the reader is presented testimony to the price of freedom for this member of the Greatest Generation. His account of heroism and heartbreak will alert your senses, the vents will rivet your attention, and his ultimate triumph against all odds in post-war France will warm your heart.

ISBN/ASIN: Amazon e-book ISBN: 9781983109737, ASIN: B07DLN1HMV
Book Format(s): Kindle, Paperback
Genre(s): Memoir, Biography
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 217