I was beginning to think that everybody had forgotten me." Ernest Thomas, affectionately called Boots because of his love for the footwear, wrote to his beloved mother in a letter dated November 19, 1941.
Call Me No Hero shines a light on a very important part of American history: World War II and the unsung American heroes that are so easily forgotten, simply because they were born and raised in small-town America. The protagonists, Jim Sledge and Boots, were two young men whose friendship proved to overcome and defeat barriers and time, and who chose to be selfless and serve their country with pride and honor.
From rural Florida all the way to raising a flag on the volcanic shores of Iwo Jima, Boots's dreams came to an abrupt and irreversible halt when he was killed in action. A heartbreaking telegram revealed the news to his mother, who had lovingly sent him countless letters (and candy!) to remind her darling son just how much he meant to her.
The book, filled with photos, letters, maps, and journal excerpts, does a very good job at bringing back to life a story that, had it not been for Boots's best friend Jim Sledge, as well as the author of the book, R. A. Sheats, would have probably been lost to history amnesia.
And so, to conclude, let's take our hats off, look up at the American flag, and with a smile on our faces, reassure Ernest "Boots" Thomas: No, darling son, we haven't forgotten about you.
Review by Brunella Costagliala (March 2019)
"Call Me No Hero" is the true story of Ernest "Boots" Thomas and his friend Jim Sledge, two young boys whose lives were dramatically changed by the arrival of the Second World War. Born and raised in rural Florida during the days of the Great Depression, Ernest and Jim's boyhood dreams and aspirations were quickly forgotten when their nation entered World War Two. Jim entered the Air Corps after graduating high school while young Ernest enlisted in the Marine Corps, pledging to do his part in protecting his family and his home. During the American drive against the Japanese in the Pacific, Ernest found himself catapulted into national fame as he and his platoon landed on the volcanic shores of Iwo Jima and raised a flag that would be seen around the world. With the use of letters, journals, and first-hand accounts, "Call Me No Hero" brings to life this captivating tale of valor, self-sacrifice, and the solemn duty of honoring those who have fallen.
Book Format(s): Hard cover
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 322