Uncommon Valor: The Medal of Honor and the Six Warriors Who Earned It in Afghanistan and Iraq

Title: Uncommon Valor: The Medal of Honor and the Six Warriors Who Earned It in Afghanistan and Iraq
Author: Dwight Jon Zimmerman, John Gresham
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B0051BNXPW

Since the Vietnam War ended in 1973 and prior to September 2010, the Medal of Honor, our nation's highest award for valor, has been presented to only eight men for their actions "above and beyond the call of duty." Six of the eight were young men who had fought in the current war in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both. All of these medals were awarded posthumously, as all six had made the choice to give their lives so that their comrades might live.

Uncommon Valor answers the searing question of who these six young warriors were, and dramatically details how they found themselves in life-or-death situations, and why they responded as they did. Also, for the first time, this book provides a comprehensive history of the Medal of Honor itself--one marred by controversies, scandals, and theft.

Using an extraordinary range of sources, including interviews with family members and friends, teammates and superiors in the military, personal letters, blogs posted within hours of events, personal and official videos, and newly declassified documents, Uncommon Valor is a compelling and important work that recounts incredible acts of heroism and lays bare the ultimate sacrifice of our bravest warriors.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Zimmerman, Dwight Jon
Gresham, John

Of War and Weddings

Title: Of War and Weddings
Author: Jerry Yellin
Genre: Military, Air Force
Reviewer: Mary Sullivan

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1421890755

A memoir. World War 2 service as a fighter pilot over Japan, raised during the depression, The wedding of his youngest son to a Japanese woman in Japan, the daughter of an Imperial Japanese air force veteran. The reconciliation between the two fathers.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Yellin, Jerry

If You Fly...Don't Crash

Title: If You Fly...Don't Crash!
Author: Charles Bailey
Genre: Military, Air Force
Reviewer: Eliot Parker

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1441541624

The author piloted Air Force heavy jets for over two decades, in peacetime and wartime. If You Fly...Don't Crash! (Confessions of a White-knuckle Pilot) highlights some of the good, the bad, and the simply silly aspects of aviation experienced during his thousands of hours airborne.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bailey, Charles

Battlefields And Blessings Iraq/Afghanistan( Stories of Faith and Courage

Title: Battlefields And Blessings Iraq/Afghanistan( Stories of Faith and Courage
Author: Jocelyn Green, Jane Hampton Cook, John Croushorn
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0899570410

Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan, part of the Battlefields & Blessings series, is a 365-day collection of inspiring stories of courage perseverance and faith-based on firsthand accounts of more than seventy who have been connected to or involved in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through never-before-told stories, readers will uncover the personal challenges of the battlefield. You'll hear about the experiences and perspectives of deployed soldiers; chaplains; military wives, widows, parents and siblings; organizers of humanitarian efforts; veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; missionaries to the Middle East and more. Each story is accompanied by a Scripture verse and a brief prayer.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Green, Jocelyn
Cook, Jane Hampton
Croushorn, John

Tear in the Desert

Title: Tear in the Desert
Author: Ron Camarda
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Reviewer: Hodge Wood

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0615195784

Tear in the Desert is a journey into the Heart of the Iraq War with Navy Chaplain Father Ron Moses Camarda, a Roman Catholic Priest. Father Ron was recalled in July of 2004 to serve with the Marines in Bravo Surgical of 1st FSSG. He reluctantly went and received over 1500 casualties and 81 deaths in which at least 12 died as he prayed with them. Col Mike Shupp, Commanding Officer of Regimental Combat Team-1, Fallujah 2004-2005 writes an afterward, "Father Ron Camarda is one of those quiet heroes, who made a difference in so many ways. Through his enthusiasm and compassion, he strengthened and developed our moral courage to face the horrors of war. When injured physically or emotionally, his strength and commitment held us up to face each day with dignity and courage. I will never forget him or his service to the Regiment. God is Good, All the Time! Semper Fi!"
The book also begins to follow how Chaplain Camarda met with the widows, parents and friends of our fallen heroes. He concludes with the story of how he met with the widow of a Marine who died at the exact hour that she gave birth.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Camarda, Ron