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Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

In light of Memorial Day.

Jocko Willink.  Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.  New York, NY: Saint Martin’s Press, October 20th 2015. 320 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

How well do you own up to your own fault and flaws?  Do you often blame other people and your circumstance when you should be admitting your own fault?  This was a good book on leadership by a combat leader in the Navy SEALS.  It wasn’t only just a good book on leadership; it was also a good book of how to be under leaders as well.  The title of the book captures the subject of the material well; it is a book on taking personal responsibility of what you do.  Taking responsibility is a big important mark of a good leader versus a bad leader.

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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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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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It’s Memorial Day Weekend.  If you are looking for some good books to read over the three day weekend here’s my recommendation from among all my readings of things military and military history between 2016-2017.  The only exception in the list is the first book which I read in 2013 but remains among the top book I think of when someone I think of a quality work.

I picked these books on the basis that they made me appreciate what those in the military have done.  Each book is linked to my original review.  Let me know which ones sound interesting to you or there are other books you would recommend!

We begin with the first one:

Review: Fearless: The Heroic Story of One Navy SEAL’s Sacrifice by Eric Blehm

Purchase: Amazon

This is a story of a SEAL Team Six operator who is also a Christian man.  He was killed in action before the Bin Laden raid.  The story of his faith, his battle with sin and his courage is very moving.  As shared by the author at the end of the book Adam Brown’s life moved the author to reconsider Christianity.

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marine funeral detail

 

Memorial Day is next Monday.

There was a time every Memorial Day I use to look up the pictures of every service member that was killed in the line of duty in a combat zone.  I would start with the previous year’s Memorial Day and go on to that year’s Memorial Day.  I began doing this in 2003 when I was in Iraq and found a newspaper (either Stars and Stripe or Marine Corps Times) that did that.

Each year the rows of pictures got longer.  More faces.  Eventually around 2007 I stopped this tradition.  It was too painful.  I believe the newspaper stop doing it too.

I think everyone in our country at least once in their life time should go over a year’s worth of names, pictures, their age, where they are from, their service, unit and their story.  See the dates and reflect back on the last year you had.

The link is HERE.  As of this post, there are 233 individuals on that list and no doubt more will be added before we get to Memorial Day.

 

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