Obediently Yours, Orson Welles

Title: Obediently Yours, Orson Welles
Author: Ulmon Bray
Genre: Military, Marines
Reviewer: Bob Ruerhdanz

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1608444570

This is the story of a young Marine's struggle through unwanted separation from friends and family caused by the consequences of the Great Depression and by the demands of World War II. During the twenty-two months he served in the Corps, the Marine wrote more than sixty letters to a young woman who save fifty-seven of them. The substance of those letters and the recollections that emerged from a number of conversations the author had with the young girl more than sixty years later formed a theme upon which to build an account of the young man's military and non-military experiences, both factual, as well as fictional. The letters revealed not only his military encounters and life behind the lines but also focused on homefront fears and concerns. His military records established a schedule of movement and location of training and combat during his tour of duty.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bray, Ulmon

Alan's Letters

Title: Alan's Letters
Author: Nancy Rial
Genre: Military, Army
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0982270003

This is a personal chronicle of a teen soldier in WWII from basic training to his adventures across northern France on the front lines as a member of the Fifth Division, part of Patton's Third Army. Using all primary sources from the historical period, the book is attractively designed in beautiful color. The letters from Alan to his family represent all the young soldiers' voices when he expresses a yearning for a normal life again and appreciation of all that he has had as a youth growing up in America. For young adults and up.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Rial, Nancy

Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel

Title: Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel
Author: Jim Kosmo and John Kriesel
Genre: Military, Army
Reviewer: John R. R. Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1592983375

When SSG John Kriesel lost his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion, no one expected him to survive. He died three times on the operating table. Miracles, a lot of miracles, starting with a few grunts who refused to let him die in Iraq, ripped the young warrior from the grip of death and sent him on to four hospitals, thirty-five surgeries, and months of recovery and rehabilitation. Medical miracles put his body back together, but it was an incredible confluence of angels at every step along the way that breathed life into his shattered body.

This is not just another war story. This is the story of an ordinary young man who overcame extraordinary challenges with a lot of help from others, including many strangers and he emerged stronger and more in love with his country, his wife, his children, and ultimately, his own life.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Kosmo, Jim
Kriesel, John

The Sentinel & the Shooter

Title: The Sentinel & the Shooter
Author: Douglas W. Bonnot
Genre: Military, Army
Reviewer: Lee Boyland

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1595944184

Secret societies have existed for millennia; their purposes myriad. Generally, they are exclusive and require members to take an oath to keep their organization and activities secret. They possess guarded means of identification and communication. Some exist in the open, their purposes known, their activities undisclosed, and their practitioners anonymous. The US Army Security Agency was a separate organization within the Army having its own installations, training, academic, logistic, communications and scientific institutions and members took an oath to keep the organization and its activities secret, their identity and communications guarded. Until the advent of the Vietnam War, their purpose was intelligence gathering for national strategic objectives. As the US role expanded from advisory to active combat, intelligence support to combat units changed the structure and character of the Agency. Organizational secrecy, guarded communications, and member anonymity remained. The 265th Radio Research Company (Airborne) sentinels operated in the shadows, yet stood beside their warrior counterpart providing intelligence to the 101st Airborne Division. 101st Airborne units involved in the war are etched in the stone of their memorial at Arlington Cemetery. The 265th RRC (ABN), the only unit etched on the back, remains in the shadows. Nearly forty years have passed since the last Sentinel departed Vietnam. This is their story.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bonnot, Douglas W.

Two Gold Coins and a Prayer: The Epic Journey of a World War II Bomber Pilot and POW

Title: Two Gold Coins and a Prayer: The Epic Journey of a World War II Bomber Pilot and POW
Author: James H. Keeffe Jr.
Genre: Military, Air Force
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 098436000X

James H. Keeffe Jr., a World War II and Korean War veteran, went on his first airplane ride at the age of 10 and thus was born his life-long love for flying. This book tells the riveting story of a young airman s journey from enlistment, through training, into battle, and beyond. His story is told with fascinating detail that allows the reader to experience all that he encounters as he bails out of his stricken bomber, is hidden in plain sight of the enemy, eventually betrayed, taken prisoner, and sent into the German POW system. In August, 1942, in the midst of World War II, Jim Keeffe joined the U.S. Army Air Forces and arrived at Aviation Cadet Training. On Thanksgiving Day, 1943, after months of rigorous training, he arrived in England with his crew to begin flying B-24 bombing missions. Then, on the 8th of March 1944, Keeffe s airplane is shot down over Holland, catapulting him into a world squeezed colorless by the ever-tightening Nazi fist of occupation. Moving from safe house to safe house in the Dutch Underground, Lt. Keeffe is able to evade the enemy for five months. Then one day, he is betrayed and sent to Stalag Luft III, a German POW camp near Sagan, Germany. There he spends months in captivity and endures the rigors of a forced march to another prison camp. Keeffe takes us into the difficult life in the POW camps which we see in unfaltering detail. When he and his fellow POWs are finally liberated in late April of 1945, we experience their joy firsthand.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Keeffe Jr., James H.