Non-Fiction

Leave No Man Behind

Title: Leave No Man Behind
Author: George Galdorisi & Thomas Phillips
Genre: History
Reviewer: Dick Geschke

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0760323925

Beginning with the birth of combat aircraft in World War I and the early attempts to rescue warriors trapped behind enemy lines, Leave No Man Behind chronicles in depth nearly one hundred years of combat search and rescue (CSAR). All major U.S. combat operations from World War II to the early years of the Iraq War are covered, including previously classified missions and several Medal-of-Honor-winning operations. Authors George Galdorisi and Tom Phillips (both veteran U.S. Navy helicopter pilots) highlight individual acts of heroism while telling the big-picture story of the creation and development of modern CSAR.

Although individual missions have their successes and failures, CSAR, as an institution, would seem beyond reproach, an obvious necessity. The organizational history of CSAR, however, is not entirely positive. The armed services, particularly the U.S. Air Force and Navy, have a tendency to cut CSAR at the end of a conflict, leaving no infrastructure prepared for the next time that the brave men and women of our armed forces find themselves behind enemy lines.

The final chapter has not yet been written for U.S. combat search and rescue, but in view of the life-saving potential of these forces, an open and forthright review of U.S. military CSAR plans and policies is long overdue. Beyond the exciting stories of heroic victories and heartrending defeats, Leave No Man Behind stimulates debate on this important subject.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Galdorisi, George
Phillips, Thomas

Marble Mountain Memoirs

Title: Marble Mountain Memoirs
Author: Robert Romaniello
Genre: Memoir
Reviewer: Joe Epley

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1479265454

A diagnosis of Stage Four Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2005 linked to Agent Orange 35 years ago in Vietnam triggers a trip back into the depths of a young man's soul and into the depths of the soul of America at war.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Romaniello, Robert

Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD

Title: Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD
Author: Christal Presley, Phd
Genre: Memoir
Reviewer: Cathryn J. Prince

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0757316468

A soldier's return home from war is often just the beginning of another, more internalized battle. In her memoir, Presley recounts 30 days of interviews with her Vietnam veteran father—conversations in which she attempts to understand her father, his PTSD, and her own lifetime of vicarious traumas. Each day is given a chapter, and each chapter concludes with a "Journal" entry that revisits Presley's tumultuous childhood memories. What emerges from this format is a harrowing portrait of the past's ability to haunt the present; Presley's descriptions of the troubled child she was blend all too easily into the confused and searching adult she becomes. In some cases, she is compelled to go to a Veterans Affairs hospital and even to Vietnam. The book's division into 30 days feels increasingly forced and fragmented with the passing of each chapter. Such a story is, by its very nature, fractured, and by the end of the book Presley's father is no less tormented than he was at Day One. Yet Presley has found stability in her father's story, and her willingness to share it—and her own revelations—will be appreciated by readers who deal with any form of wartime PTSD.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Presley Phd, Christal

Still Having Fun

Title: Still Having Fun
Author: Candace George Thompson
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Joyce M. Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1937763625

This remarkable biography of a military marriage which lasted from 1941 until 2007 includes everything from letters written in war zones to photographs that chronicle the lives and romance of Rex and Bettie George. Written by their daughter, Candace George Thompson, after their deaths, "Still Having Fun" is a moving testament to the character and resilience of American military families.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Thompson, Candace George

Tunesmith Chronicles: A Musical History Tour

Title: Tunesmith Chronicles: A Musical History Tour
Author: Lem Genovese
Genre: Memoir/Autobiography/Creative Nonfiction
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B009EUCI7A

The lessons and legacy from our war in Indochina are the stuff of contradiction. There are plenty of negatives should one decide to walk down that misbegotten road. It has been paved with bitterness, resentment, distrust, propaganda and scapegoating which have made it smoother and far easier to tread upon with each passing decade. The far more difficult journey is not found on a marked highway and is much harder to locate. An honest, fact based journal is not just needed should this path be chosen, it should be demanded by our posterity. Veterans from all combat zones need to better understand that responsibility to aid in the process of sharing wisdom, encouraging understanding and healing.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Genovese, Lem

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