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Uncommon Valor: The Medal of Honor and the Six Warriors Who Earned It in Afghanistan and Iraq First Edition Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
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ISBN-10: 0312363850
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Uncommon Valor is truly the best book on military matters that I have read this year. . . . Of all the books that we have honored over the years with our Founder's Award (this one had no competition) this was and is the best of the best!” ―Bill McDonald, Military Writers Society of America founder --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

DWIGHT JON ZIMMERMAN is an award-winning author of books and articles on military history and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. He lives in Brookyn, NY. JOHN D. GRESHAM is a veteran military analyst and the co-author, with Tom Clancy, of Clancy’s bestselling nonfiction series, including Special Forces: A Guided Tour of the US Army Special Forces, and Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing. He lives in Fairfax, VA.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312363850
  • ASIN: B0051BNXPW
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,981,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Final Roll Call:

"Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith."
Silence.
"Corporal Jason Dunham."
Silence.
"Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy."
Silence.
"Petty Officer Second Class Michael Anthony Monsoor."
Silence.
"U.S. Army Specialist Ross A. McGinnis."
Silence.
"U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti."
Silence.

What makes a person deliberately fall on a grenade, charge into a line of fire, sacrifice his life to save another? The six brave men listed above, all posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, aren't here to explain their actions. All we can do is guess why they did what they did. In Uncommon Valor, authors Dwight Jon Zimmerman and John D. Gresham attempt to answer these haunting questions.

The book delves into the history of the medal itself, but for me, the wife of a former fighter pilot and now mother of an Army 1st Lieutenant, my favorite chapters were the ones that explored each man's past. I learned about their childhoods, their families, and their lives before they chose to enter the military. Throughout the book, I was reminded of a line from The Soldier's Creed: "I am a warrior and a member of a team." Each man put his comrades first.

This book will change you. Reading Uncommon Valor will make you want to become a better person. A better citizen. A better steward of this great land we call America.

I highly recommend this book.

Kathleen M. Rodgers ~ author of JOHNNIE COME LATELY forthcoming from Coffeetown Press 2/1/15.
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Format: Hardcover
As a former columnist for Stars and Stripes/Europe, a member of the Military Writers Society of America, and an Air Force spouse of thirty years, I am honored to recommend "Uncommon Valor."

"Uncommon Valor" is a comprehensive review of The Medal of Honor, our nation's highest award for valor, and the six warriors who earned it in Afghanistan and Iraq. The awards were made posthumously after mind-boggling heroics in which each sacrificed his life for his fellow soldiers, sailors, or airmen. Readers also discover each recipient's past childhood and family history that led up to the defining moments of life.

Any yet, "Uncommon Valor" is more. Between each chapter, the co-authors also offer fascinating explanations - in easy to understand laymen's terms - of the conditions, tribal politics, and geographical landscape in Afghanistan or Iraq which led to each heroic action that culminated in the individual's Medal of Honor nomination and ultimately, the posthumous award.

Zimmerman and Gresham's work of narrative non-fiction is an uncommonly important read for our times. Even before the book was released, the co-authors were invited to speak this autumn to cadets at West Point.

"Uncommon Valor" would make the perfect gift for anyone interested in military history and for any active duty military member or veteran.

"Uncommon Valor" has already become one of my all time favorite books. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Fair disclosure: Although I have never met either author, I received an advance galley copy earlier this summer.

~ Bonnie Bartel Latino
[...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A true testament to the warrior ethos. These warriors sacrificed not for self but for the love of their comrades. Nowhere else on earth would you find the love and brotherhood displayed in our military. Laying your life down so others may live is not a planed action. Jumping on a grenade,shielding your team from an IED blast is a split section action. Throughout the book you will read about sacrifice, love of country, but most of all the dedication and warrior spirit to adapt, improvise, and overcome. The MEDAL OF HONOR is like no other it is the highest tribute to the warriors in harms way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book left me in awe of the sacrifice these men gave for their battle buddy. My heart and prayers go out to them and their families. I spent 20+ years in the USAF. If you wear or have worn the uniform of any of the USA'S military you know why this book was written. God Bless.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book my husband says,"..be prepared to well up with tears." A must for any military aficionado or really anyone who wants to know what it takes, the level of courage and camaraderie to get such a prestigious award.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished "Uncommon Valor" by Dwight Zimmerman and had no idea until a few minutes ago that I could still be so impressed. This is, of course, an inspiring topic - the medal of honor - but the candid disclosure of the medal's not always sterling history is extremely well done and beautifully juxtapositioned against the amazing stories of its recent recipients. Superb job of researching the history and honoring the lives of some of this country's heroes.
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Format: Hardcover
Though the opening quote comes from the classic Korean war epic BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI, it sprang to mind as I read Dwight Zimmerman and John Gresham's exceptional chronicle of the six soldiers who won the Medal of Honor in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other books have been written on MoH winners but few have done such an insightful job of revealing the human being behind the award. UNCOMMON VALOR is a great read; alternately touching, exciting, inspiring and saddening.

All six MoH winners covered in UNCOMMON VALOR received the Medal posthumously. They are Paul Smith, Jason Dunham, Michael Murphy, Michale Monsoor, Ross McGinnis and Jared Monti. Several were squad leaders, several were grunts; others were SEALs. Some awards were made for leadership; others for self-sacrifice. Their backgrounds and time in service were as different as day and night. The only commonality seemed to be that, when exceptional courage was called for, each man stepped up.

The extensive research undertaken by Zimmerman and Gresham enable them to present a multi-dimensional portrait of each man. Their early life is detailed along with their decision to enlist, service prior to their MoH action, etc. The process by which each was recommended for and received the MoH is also detailed. The authors interweave these stories against the backdrop of a comprehensive history of the Medal of Honor since its inception.

Whatever your views regarding the on-going struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan, UNCOMMON VALOR is required reading. It puts a very human face on those far-away conflicts and reminds us of the price paid by the fine American men and women engaged in those conflicts. UNCOMMON VALOR comes highly recommended.
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