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Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty Hardcover – September 14, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
This group portrait of most of the living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor has an entry for each recipient, including a photo portrait at the time of the award, a summary of the medal-winning action and sometimes (though not often enough) the later career. The variety of actions documented by Collier (The Rockefellers) will impress even fairly seasoned students of military history, as will the 250 duotone portraits. They range from thumbnail period snapshots to full page close-ups of the lions in winter. Van Barfoot, of Choctaw descent, overcame minefields and German tanks in World War II. William Charette was one of numerous medics who fought with a first-aid kit and raw courage. Air Force Maj. George Day was a Vietnam War POW who received his medal for tenacious resistance in the Hanoi Hilton. Eugene Fluckey of the USS Barb is the last surviving submariner of World War II to receive the medal. The six-foot-seven-inch Robert Foley won the medal in a bunker complex in Vietnam and retired as a lieutenant general. And Shizua Hiyashi had to overcome prejudice as well as Germans to have his DSC upgraded to the medal 55 years after he won it in Italy. Courage is a key component of every medal recipient, and so is loyalty to both country and comrades, superior skills and dogged determination.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Impressive and moving.-The Weekly Standard (The Weekly Standard)
These stories of courage under fire inspire awe and gratitude.-Readers Digest (Reader's Digest)
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Top Customer Reviews
Each story is amazing. As a recipient said, when a child asks "What is it like to have killed someone?" his reflection was "that's a real kick in the gut." "Any human being forced to take the life of another always bears a great sadness."
Courage, Sacrifice, Duty, friendship, Love of neighbor-friend and foe, Loyalty, and Freedom are common themes in each story. It does not glamorize war.
The book and accompanying DVD highlight stories of the Medal of Honor recipients that were still living at the time of its publication. Posthumous recipients of the award are not covered.
I found it amazing that all of them represent America as a socio-economic, religious, and ethnic cross section of the population. World War II, Korea and Vietnam War veterans are covered. Each story also highlights a kind of valor/bravery/self sacrifice that was not sought by the recipient. Each one says he was not out looking for the honor but that he did what he felt he needed to do in a given perilous situation... only free men/women...driven by an idealogy of a higher good, love and freedom rather than hatred and self-destruction can make this claim.
The DVD is 80 minutes long and quite touching. It highlights 11 recipients of the award in interviews. The recipients re-tell the story in their own words along with brief narration.
This is an important piece of world history and should be passed on to future generations.