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Modern Day Military Accounts – written by Soldiers

American sniper : the autobiography of the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history / Chris Kyle ; with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwen – A member of Navy SEAL Team 3 describes his life as a father and husband, and as the serviceman with the most confirmed sniper kills in the U.S. military’s history, in a memorial edition filled with remembrances from family and friends.

Band of brothers : E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest / Stephen E. Ambrose – As good a rifle company as any, Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, US Army, kept getting tough assignments–responsible for everything from parachuting into France early DDay morning to the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden. In “Band of Brothers,” Ambrose tells of the men in this brave unit who fought, went hungry, froze & died, a company that took 150% casualties & considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers’ journals & letters, Stephen Ambrose recounts the stories, often in the men’s own words, of these American heroes.

Flags of our fathers / James Bradley with Ron Powers – In this unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history, James Bradley has captured the glory, the triumph, the heartbreak, and the legacy of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. Here is the true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of America.

Generation kill : Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the new face of American war / Evan Wright – Within hours of 9/11, America’s war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ed combat since Vietnam. They were a new breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears- soldiers who gleaned their precepts from kung fu movies and Oprah Winfrey. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary, and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional, and moral horrors ahead, the “First Suicide Battalion” would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer. Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality, and camaraderie of a new American war.

The good soldiers / David Finkel – In the tradition of “Black Hawk Down,” The Good Soldiers takes an unforgettable look at the heroes and the ruined soldiers fighting in the Iraq War.

In the company of heroes / Michael J. Durant with Steven Hartov – Piloting a U.S. Army Special Operations Blackhawk over Somalia, Michael Durant was shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade on October 3, 1993. With devastating injuries, he was taken prisoner by a Somali warlord. With revealing insight and emotion, he tells the story of what he saw, how he survived, and the courage and heroism that only soldiers under fire could ever know. 

Jarhead : a Marine’s chronicle of the Gulf War and other battles / Anthony Swofford – The first Gulf War memoir by a frontline infantry marine; a searing, unforgettable narrative. When the marines — or “jarheads,” as they call themselves — were sent in 1990 to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis, Swofford was there, with a hundred-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper’s rifle in his hands. It was one misery upon another. He lived in sand for six months, his girlfriend back home betrayed him for a scrawny hotel clerk, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, he pulled a gun on one of his fellow marines, and he was shot at by both Iraqis and Americans. At the end of the war, Swofford hiked for miles through a landscape of incinerated Iraqi soldiers and later was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker. Swofford weaves this experience of war with vivid accounts of boot camp (which included physical abuse by his drill instructor), reflections on the mythos of the marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family. As engagement with the Iraqis draws closer, he is forced to consider what it is to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man.

Lone survivor : the eyewitness account of Operation Redwing and the lost heroes of SEAL Team 10 / Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson – On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a notorious al Qaeda leader known to be ensconced in a Taliban stronghold surrounded by a small but heavily armed force. Less then twenty-four hours later, only one of those Navy SEALs remained alive. In this rich , moving chronicle of courage, honor, and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare-and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The longest day: June 6, 1944 – The Longest Day is Cornelius Ryan’s unsurpassed account of D-Day, a book that endures as a masterpiece of military history. In this compelling tale of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy, Ryan painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.

The things they carried : a work of fiction / by Tim O’Brien – The Things They Carried depicts the true life stories of the men of Alpha Company. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the mine field, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other, because in Vietnam they are the only family they have. The Things They Carried is a testament to the men who risked their lives in America’s most controversial war. 

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