5 Books to Read Written by Veterans
Happy Veterans Day!
My list of 5 Books to Read Written by Veterans was curated for its diversity, including books that cover several different wars and written by both men and women. Please take a moment today to thank the veterans in your life for their service and perhaps choose one of the books below to read so we can learn more about the veteran's experience before, during, and after war.
1. The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior by Robert O'Neill
I still remember where I was when I heard the Osama bin Laden had been shot and killed. I'm willing to bet that you do, too. The author, Robert O'Neill, is one of the most highly-decorated veterans of our time - this book is his account of his four-hundred-mission career including the mission that resulted in the death of bin Laden.
2. Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors by George W. Bush
It wouldn't be a Hasty Book List if I didn't include a book that merges my love of books and my love of art. Regardless of politics, it is important to recognize the contributions veterans have made to our lives and our country. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I also believe in the power of art. So George W. Bush's Portraits of Courage is an obvious addition to this list of books by veterans - he himself is a veteran and the book is all about America's warriors.
3. With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge
Ken Burns praised With the Old Breed by E. B. Sledge by saying, “In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s." Wow, I've read a number of WWII books, both fiction and nonfiction, but it sounds like this one should be next on my list. I'm especially intrigued by this book because it is based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament. Little details like that spark my interest and make for a great story, don't you think?
4. We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang—The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
I wanted to include books in this list that covered a variety of wars - I don't often read much about the Vietnam war, so I thought this book would be a good addition to this list of books written by veterans. It also seemed timely to include a book by Harold G. Moore, a "legendary combat leader and New York Times Bestselling author" since he passed away earlier this year at the age of 94. His military career spanned 32 years beginning with occupation duty in Japan in the mid-1940s.
5. Locked-in: A Soldier and Civilian's Struggle with Invisible Wounds by Carolyn Swift Furdek
A list of books written by veterans would not be complete without at least one book by a woman (ugh, I think my next veteran-focused list will include only books written by women - but the truth of the matter is that there aren't many books written by female vets and of course even fewer from the earlier wars.) I was drawn to this book by Carolyn Furdek because of its focus on mental health struggles. It is a difficult subject to discuss, and a personal one, so we should be grateful to Carolyn Furdek for her willingness to write about her experiences.
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