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“Thank You for Your Service”: Books, Magazines, and Films for Military Appreciation Month 2023

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“Thank You for Your Service”: Books, Magazines, and Films for Military Appreciation Month 2023

The month of May has been designated as National Military Appreciation Month, to honor and appreciate the patriotism and dedication shown by members of the armed services and their families.

Here are some recently published works on military history, accounts of battle, and war memoirs followed by magazines and films, which should remind us of the immense valor, sacrifice, commitment and dedication displayed by our men and women in uniform. All are available to borrow with your Livingston Library card.

against all odds

Against All Odds: A True Story Of Ultimate Courage And Survival In World War II  by Alex Kershaw

Kershaw vividly chronicles 600 days of WWII combat endured by the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division while focusing on the personalities and exploits of four exceptional soldiers who experienced missions in Morocco, Italy, southern France, Germany, and Austria. These four heroes and their comrades demonstrated that both individual and group bravery counts in battle at least as much as superior weapons systems. 

Black Ops : The Life Of A CIA Shadow Warrior by Ric Prado

A memoir by the highest-ranking covert warrior to lift the veil of secrecy and offer a glimpse into the shadow wars that America has fought since the Vietnam Era.  It is a testament to the courage, creativity and dedication of the Agency’s Special Activities Group and its elite shadow warriors.

Brotherhood Of Ihe Flying Coffin : The Glider Pilots Of World War II by Scott McGaugh

This book distills war down to individual young men climbing into defenseless gliders made of plywood, ready to trust the towing aircraft that would pull them into enemy territory by a single cable wrapped with a telephone wire.  They were all volunteers, for a specialized duty that their own government projected would have a 50 percent casualty rate. None faltered. In every major European invasion of the war they led the way. They landed their gliders ahead of the troops who stormed Omaha Beach, and sometimes miles ahead of the paratroopers bound for the far side of the Rhine River in Germany itself. From there, they had to hold their positions. They delivered medical teams, supplies and gasoline to troops surrounded in the Battle of the Bulge, ahead even of Patton’s famous supply truck convoy. 

Damn Lucky : One Man’s Courage During The Bloodiest Military Campaign In Aviation History by Kevin Maurer

Journalist Maurer delivers a comprehensive account of bomber pilot John “Lucky” Luckadoo’s experiences during WWII. A B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, he miraculously survived 25 missions during the initial bombing of France and Germany from England, considered the deadliest military campaign in aviation history; his group became known as “The Bloody 100th.” 

immortal valor

Immortal Valor : The Black Medal Of Honor Winners Of World War II by Robert Child

Of nearly five hundred recipients of the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor for military service in the Second World War, only seven were Black. Those seven only received their medals in 1997 when President Clinton elevated their Distinguished Service Crosses (and in one case, a Silver Star) to the nation’s highest combat award, and only because of activist campaigns on their behalf. Military historian Child presents each of the seven cases as a separate chapter, in which he recounts the service member’s early years, entry into the military, training, and combat record, as well as relevant personal stories; citations for the awards are included at the end of each chapter.

In The Company Of Heroes : The Inspiring Stories Of Medal of Honor Recipients From America’s Longest Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq by James Kitfield

An award-winning military journalist tells the amazing stories of twenty-two soldiers who’ve won the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.  Stories include Marine Corps Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, who purposely lunged toward a Taliban hand grenade in order to shield his buddy from the blast; Navy SEAL team leader Britt Slabinski, who, after being ambushed and retreating in the Hindu Kush, returned against monumental odds in order to try to save one of his team who was inadvertently lost in the fight; and Ranger Staff Sergeant Leroy Petry, who lunged for a live grenade, threw it back at the enemy, and saved his two Ranger brothers.

The Last Hill: The Epic Story Of A Ranger Battalion And The Battle That Defined WWII Iby Bob Drury

The incredible untold story of one Ranger battalion’s heroism and courage in World War II. They were known as “Rudder’s Rangers,” the most elite and experienced attack unit in the United States Army. In December 1944, Lt. Col. James Rudder’s 2nd Battalion would form the spearhead into Germany, taking the war into Hitler’s homeland at last. In the process, Rudder was given two objectives: Take Hill 400 . . . and hold the hill by any means possible. To the last man, if necessary. The battle-hardened battalion had no idea that several Wehrmacht regiments, who greatly outnumbered the Rangers, had been given the exact same orders. The clash of the two determined forces was one of the bloodiest and most costly encounters of World War II. 

Lost At Sea : Eddie Rickenbacker’s Twenty-Four Days Adrift On The Pacific–a World War II Tale Of Courage And Faith by John F. Wukovits

While Wukovits’ meticulously detailed history focuses on the captain’s 23-day WWII ordeal while he and his men were lost in the Pacific, it is also a page-turner that provides a thrilling account of a towering figure. Rickenbacker rose from humble, immigrant origins to become a renowned race car driver. His speed and accuracy served Rickenbacker well when he took to the wartime skies as a fighter plane ace in WWI. Twenty years later, the pilot cemented his place in history by leading a desperate party of men lost at sea through weeks of threats from sharks, storms, hunger, thirst, delusion, fatigue, and Japanese Navy ships to survival and safety. 

luck of the draw

Luck Of The Draw : My Story Of The Air War In Europe by Frank D. Murphy

This is the incredible, inspiring story of Frank Murphy, one of the few survivors from the 100th Bombardment Group, who cheated death for months in a German POW camp after being shot out of his B-17 Flying Fortress.  It is an inspirational account of incredible bravery, resilience, and sheer will to survive.

Road To Surrender : Three Men And The Countdown To The End Of World War II by Evan Thomas

This suspenseful and propulsive account of the days leading up to the end of World War II, is told through the stories of three men: Henry Stimson, the Secretary of War, who had overall responsibility for decisions about the atomic bomb; Gen. Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, head of strategic bombing in Europe and the Pacific, who was in charge of actually dropping the bombs; and Shigenori Tōgō, the Japanese Foreign Minister, who was the only one in Emperor Hirohito’s Court and Supreme War Council who knew and believed that Japan must surrender.

Soldier Parrott : The Incredible Story Of America’s First Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient by Jack North Conway

This is the riveting account of how Jacob Parrott, an 18-year-old, illiterate orphan from Ohio became the first soldier to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Parrott, a private in the Union Army, volunteered in 1862 for a secret mission behind Confederate lines to steal a train, tear up railroad tracks, burn bridges, and cut telegraph lines. The mission failed. Parrott and his companions were captured. Several were hung as spies and Parrott spent nearly two years in a Confederate prison. 

Digital issues of Military History Magazine are available to check out via Libby.

You can stream a variety of videos related to military history on Kanopy.

-Archana Chiplunkar Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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