Books honor heroes—November 6, 2009
Veteran’s Day is the day set aside each year to honor and remember those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It is a time to remember the sacrifices of the past, but it is also a time to think about the men and women who are serving or who have died in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In “American Heroes” Oliver North uses material gathered for his television series “War Stories” to chronicle life in the war starting just after 9/11 through the end of August 2008. North takes the reader on a helicopter mission with British and American Marines during the invasion of Iraq where he watches his first helicopter crash and hopes that his field producer is not one of the casualties. With the same helicopter crew, North takes us to the streets of Baghdad where they spend 48 hours ferrying in water and ammo to Marines and evacuating the wounded. The stories of courage and commitment North tells are ones you will never forget.
Donovan Campbell was looking for an opportunity to prove himself after graduating from Princeton and the Marines offered just that chance. In “Joker One : A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood” Campbell tells the story of a group of inexperienced Marines who are thrown into the firefight that was Ramadi, Iraq in 2004.
Another personal account from the war in Iraq is told in Ryan Smithson’s “Ghosts of War : The True Story of a 19-year-old GI.” An average kid from upstate New York, Ryan had never even been to New York City before his senior year in high school when he visited Ground Zero. What followed was his enlistment in the Army, his deployment to Iraq and his experiences with EQ Platoon as a heavy equipment operator.
Everyone knows a little bit about the story of Pat Tillman, the NFL star who gave up professional football to fight in Afghanistan. But in “Where Men Win Glory” Jon Krakauer, author of “Into the Wild” and “Into Thin Air”, attempts to really tell the story of this young man whose life and death can be compared to a classical hero tale.
Pay tribute to the brave soldiers that have fought in our country’s most recent wars by reading one of these titles from the Hastings Public Library.