Non-Fiction

Coyote Jack: Drawing Meaning from Life and Vietnam--A Memoir

Title: Coyote Jack: Drawing Meaning from Life and Vietnam--A Memoir
Author: Jack Lyndon Thomas
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Charles E. Gibbs

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0965984311

Coyote Jack overlays a fascinating exposition of life and death in the most enigmatic of American conflicts with an individual's struggle to free himself from the enemy that stands ready to thwart a full and authentic life. Through Jack, we live in sandbag bunkers, bathe out of wells, and dodge booby traps, as he learns the privations and landmines of his personal life are as complex as the clashing cultures and divisive politics that created, and ended the war in Vietnam.

Thomas was an Infantry Lieutenant who lived and fought with South Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Thomas, Jack Lyndon

Beyond Duty: Life on the Frontline in Iraq

Title: Beyond Duty: Life on the Frontline in Iraq
Author: Shannon Meehan and Roger Thompson
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Dave Brown

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0745635865

Under the blazing Iraqi sun in the summer of 2007, Shannon Meehan, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, ordered a strike that would take the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians. He thought he was doing the right thing. He thought he was protecting his men. He thought that he would only kill the enemy, but in the ruins of the strike, he discovers his mistake and uncovers a tragedy.

For most of his deployment in Iraq, Lt. Meehan felt that he had been made for a life in the military. A tank commander, he worked in the violent Diyala Province, successfully fighting the insurgency by various Sunni and Shia factions. He was celebrated by his senior officers and decorated with medals. But when the U.S. surge to retake Iraq in 2006 and 2007 finally pushed into Baqubah, a town virtually entirely controlled by al Qaida, Meehan would make the decision that would change his life.

This is the true story of one soldier's attempt to reconcile what he has done with what he felt he had to do. Stark and devastating, it recounts first-hand the reality of a new type of warfare that remains largely unspoken and forgotten on the frontlines of Iraq.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Meehan, Shannon
Thompson, Roger

Second Chance at Life, A

Title: A Second Chance at Life
Author: Brian Huynh Travis
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Kathleen Rodgers

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1450076351

An exciting, memorable, historical memoir awaits everyone as author Brian Huynh Travis releases, through Xlibris, A Second Chance At Life. Readers will dip into the author's life as this book takes them to his amazing journey. A Second Chance at Life is a remarkable historical memoir that represents the life and adventures of the author. In this inspiring account, the author tells about his life--from childhood, to his treacherous boat journey as he and his two older siblings escaped from Vietnam, to beginning a new life in America, and becoming successful. He relates his family, struggles, adventures and misadventures, his different careers, his various experiences at war, public service, and so much more. This is an absolute revelation of how his life travels from one simple step towards achieving a new, healthy, and prosperous life. Through A Second Chance at Life, readers will find inspiration and hope as they travel through life.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Travis, Brian Huynh

One in a Hundred Million

Title: One in a Hundred Million
Author: Marion Urichich
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Hodge Wood

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0615127339

A story like no other. It is one of tragedy, triumph, adversity, love, happiness, and success. A story that will inspire, amuse, enlighten and entertain you. I will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you think. If you have never read an autobiography in your life make this your first. A true story of an incredible man and his path to success by helping others. One in a Hundred Million is without a doubt the best real life drama ever written.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Urichich, Marion

Inside the Fortress

Title: Inside the Fortress
Author: Steve Valley
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1589825667

Inside the Fortress is a behind the scenes look at life for an Army senior enlisted leader inside the world renowned Green Zone, where he lived and worked from January 2004 to January 2005.

This book gives the reader an up close and personal look at what was really happening in Baghdad because what everyone saw back home via the main stream media was 180 degrees different of what was actually happening.

Steve Valley was the first sergeant of a unit made up of highly talented public affairs and combat arms Soldiers that brought with them an endless onslaught of personal issues and situations that that he and the unit's commander had to deal with on a daily basis. He played leader, father, brother and friend to countless American Soldiers that looked to him for answers and information while trying to survive the never ending incoming barrage of mortars, rockets and bullets.

Valley's duty station was at the Combined Press Information Center (CPIC) in Baghdad, located in the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. The CPIC was made up of nearly 70 multi-service and international military members and civilians. The organization was responsible for writing and distributing press releases, setting up and hosting all the coalition's press conferences, organizing the military's media embed program and performing extensive media relations with the international media and governmental relations with top level diplomats and politicians.

Valley performed media escort duties for first media trip to the Abu Ghraib prison after the story broke in February 2004. He played a major role in the Abu Ghraib court martial proceedings held at the Baghdad Convention Center, the signing of the Iraqi Transitional Administrative Law, the transfer of sovereignty from the US to the Iraq in June 2004 and Sadaam Hussein's first court appearance the following month. Valley also served as a coalition spokesperson for the major battles of Najaf and Fallujah. He dealt with every reporter that came to Iraq from CNN's Christiana Amanpour, to the Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter John F. Burns to the late Peter Jennings in addition to the numerous American daily and weekly community newspapers that needed updated information for their readers and viewers concerning Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Some of the media outlets that Valley worked with on a regular basis included the Associated Press, BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, Fox News (2 separate appearances on the Neil Cavuto Show), CNN, NBC, CBS and Al-Jazeera. He also worked with the CIA and FBI, White House liaisons, Department of Defense and State Department officials and senior Iraqi Governmental officials as part of his normal daily duties.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Valley, Steve

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