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Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

I know for many summer vacation is around the corner so here’s my review of two military books for your summer travel…and also because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!

For other suggestions check out also our previous post “2017 Memorial Day Weekend Lists of Recommended Readings.”

Robert O’Neill.  The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. New York, NY: Scribner, April 3rd 2018. 368 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book by the Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden.  This book not only tell the story of the mission to go after Bin Laden but also Robert O’Neill’s upbringing in Montana, how he joined the Navy and made it into the SEALs.  A fascinating book of a fascinating individual.

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I’m going to post this ahead of the Memorial Day weekend as a book I immensely enjoyed that is very appropriate for the weekend as part of my nonfiction leisure reading review…why?  Because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading…and also to appreciate the generations of people who have served in the past in the military and have given so much.

Chester Nez.  Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. New York, NY: Berkley Caliber, September 6th 2011. 310 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an incredible book on the legendary Navajo Native American who served in the United States Marines during World War Two.  Apparently this is the only memoir of the original first group of Navajo “Code talkers.”  The book is about the life and service of “Code Talker” Chester Nez who co-authored it along with Judith Avila, a historian of these incredible Marines.  In the beginning of the book Avila noted that at first Chester Nez was reluctant to write this book since he felt that others also have done their duty and also because he feared people would not find his life interesting.  Avila disagreed and encouraged him to tell his story.  I’m in agreement with Avila; Chester Nez and other “Code Talkers” lived an interesting life both in the Marine Corps and outside the Marine Corps.  I’m really glad this book was written.

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A weekend nonfiction book review…because sometimes even Pastors need a break from heavy theological reading.

Mitchell Zuckoff.  Lost in Shangri-la. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, April 26th 2011. 384 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

The subtitle of the book describes this work as “A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II.”  At first I didn’t know what to make of this book as it wasn’t your typical story of survival and rescue of American servicemembers in World War 2.  But as I progressed reading the book it got more and more interesting.

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A weekend nonfiction leisure reading review…because even Pastors need a break from heavy theological reading.

Flo Groberg and Tom Sileo. 8 Seconds of Courage: A Soldier’s Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor.  New York, NY: Simon Schuster, November 17th, 2017. 208 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is the story of Flo Groberg, a US Army infantry officer who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor in 2015 for actions in Afghanistan in 2012.  There’s few Medal of Honor that has been awarded in the post-9/11 world and still fewer who are among the living that received it; Flo Groberg is one of them.  The autobiography tells the story of his childhood, his decision to join the Army, his time in Afghanistan and after his time in the military.  Reading this book makes me grateful for men like Groberg who was willing to risk his life and limb for others.

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A weekend non-theological book review.  Cause Pastors also need a break with other readings…

Robert M. Gates. Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.  New York, NY: Knopf, January 14th 2014. 640 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Let me begin by saying I rarely pick up memoirs and of those I have started very few I have ever finished.  A lot of them end up being somewhat anti-climatic and sometimes they can be too narcissistic for my taste.  Often in the back of my mind I wonder if there are things left out or opinions given that end up being more of a hindrance to knowing the truth.  So the fact that I finished this memoir and am writing a review of this book speaks volume of how much I enjoyed this work.

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This Memorial Day I took a bit of a personal memory lane.  A part of that was recalling other past Memorial Day.  And it got me thinking about one of the most powerful coverage on American service members’ death and their body coming back to their family that I have ever read titled “Final Salute,” a photo essay by Jim Sheeler of the Rocky Mountain News.  It was the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize.  I don’t know when it happened but my old link to the PDF that Rocky Mountain News posted no longer works but I found a way you can still see the photos and read the story here.  If you haven’t seen and read this before, you got to do it.

 

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This is a weekend non-fiction leisure reading review.  ‘Cause ministers need a break from heavy reading too.

Jonathan Jordan.  American Warlords: How Roosevelt’s High Command Led America to Victory in World War II. New York, NY: Penguin Group, May 5th 2015. 624 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What an incredible book on military history and history of military leadership.  This work is a look at the important men during World War Two that played a pivotal role in Franklin Roosevelt’s War Department towards winning World War Two.  This is a book that is a gold mine of information, a well-researched that surprisingly is also very readable for general readers.

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