Ray Mayer’s From Valor, Triumph may be a fictional story of a family’s service in combat, but you will swear the characters are real. The author does a wonderful job of developing the characters, and I had to keep reminding myself that this was indeed a work of historical fiction.
The book traces the service roots of the extended Howard family, starting with Carl Howard’s service in World War I. Unfortunately, the “war to end all wars,” wasn’t, and Carl’s sons found themselves serving in combat just like their Dad. Dan served with the Marines in the Pacific during World War II, and his younger brother Bob served in Korea. Dan’s son Tom also followed the family tradition in Vietnam and Iraq and likewise did Tom’s two sons in the War on Terror. In all, six Howards served in every major conflict the US fought since the First World War, and they had the scars to prove it.
The story follows the Howards as they serve, return home, marry, and raise families steeped in service and Christian values. It echoes the classic American story of immigrants (Carl Howard came through Ellis Island) that work hard, treat others fairly, and find success. I especially enjoyed the undertones of the book that dealt with doing business fairly, giving others a chance, and doing the right thing when it needed to be done.
It is historical fiction, and the author masterfully handles historic characters like Chesty Puller and Barrack Obama, keeping them in character while at the same time using them to enhance the story. There’s combat action, heartfelt family moments, success, and some failure throughout the story, but it is, in the end, a wonderful and touching read about an American family’s impact on history.
Review by Rob Ballister (April 2019)
From Valor, Triumph is a work of military historical fiction celebrating the valiant American warriors whose courage and sacrifice enable the American Dream. It spans from World War One through the War on Terror and centers on four generations of the Howard family and their courage, honor and valor on and off the battlefield, as well as the humorous side of military life.
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 344