Forever a Soldier

Forever a Soldier : Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service

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Forever a Soldier captures the personal side of war in 37 extraordinary narratives that bear eloquent witness to both the life-changing experience of battle and to the unflagging spirit that sustained countless ordinary Americans plunged into the bloody conflicts of the deadliest, most destructive century in human history. Some tell of frontline action: a doughboy's 1918 baptism of fire: a battleship gunner's grim duel with Japanese planes; a female fighter pilot's capture by Iraqis during the Gulf War. Others evoke moments of relief and reflection, or recall deeply moving episodes: two wounded soldiers-one German, one American-clasping hands in the wordless brotherhood of pain; a POW whose faith gave him the strength to endure torture in the notorious "Hanoi Hilton;" a GI's lifelong grief for a buddy killed on the last day of World War II in Europe. Forever a Soldier presents famous incidents like the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and her survivors' terrifying ordeal in the shark-infested Pacific, and heroic figures like John McCain, but it's the long-untold stories of unheralded patriots that best reveal the universal truths of war: courage and fear, horror and exhilaration, sorrow and triumph-the shared legacy of every American veteran, and a debt of honor the rest of us must respect but can never repay.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 144.8 x 226.1 x 27.9mm | 453.6g
  • Washington, United States
  • English
  • ill
  • 0792262077
  • 9780792262077

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Most American soldiers can pinpoint a specific time when life stood still, when they thought, "I'm going to remember this moment forever." It's times like these that have the power to change the future. "Forever a Soldier--drawn from the massive national collection of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project--illustrates how American soldiers have answered the call to duty with a singular spirit of patriotism, and how military service has transformed their lives. Some of the remarkable stories include a World War II prisoner of war who describes desperate hours spent trying to conceal his Jewish heritage from his German captors; a nurse stationed in Vietnam who remembers a dying patient, his miraculous recovery, and her reward years later; and the survivor of a famed World War II shipwreck who flashes back to four harrowing days in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Culled from letters, diaries, and oral histories by soldiers, sailors, marines, and supporting citizens, these fifty stories constitute an astonishing historical record, a powerful tribute to those who fought, and a celebration of the enduring power of the words of few to speak for many. "Forever a Soldier captures the personal perspective of war that is all too often lost in news reports and government statements. It is an indispensable contribution to understanding war and its impact on us all.
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About Tom Wiener

Tom Wiener is the chief historian of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and the editor of Voices of War: Stories of Service From the Home Front and the Frontlines. His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Rating details

29 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 31% (9)
4 24% (7)
3 34% (10)
2 10% (3)
1 0% (0)
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