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Staff blog

Non-Fic Picks: Honoring Our Service Members and Veterans

This month our Non-Fic Picks focus on recognizing the men, women, and animals that served and continue to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Just in time for Veterans Day, these titles look at personal stories and important roles veterans play in shaping our society; the hardships military members and families endure; and the unforgettable moments solidified in history.

I Heard My Country Calling: A Memoir by James Webb

James Webb, former U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Navy, and dignified recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart, reflects on his personal call to duty.  As a child, he watched his father serve during World War Two, the Berlin Airlift, and as a weaponry expert for the government.  It was no surprise Webb would follow in his father’s footsteps, serving as a combat soldier in Vietnam before launching his career in U.S. politics.  In a thoughtful, sincere, and warm contemplation of his past, Webb explores family, love, and what it means to be an American. 

Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War by Kayla Williams

In Plenty of Time When We Get Home, Army Sergeant Kayla Williams examines her marriage to fellow service member, Brian McGough.  Earning the Purple Heart for his service in Iraq, McGough suffered a life-altering brain injury from IED shrapnel.  However, he returned to service without a full recovery.  Williams chronicles her husband’s suffering from both the injury and PTSD while scrutinizing the lack of support they received from the government as well as other veterans.  This intimate and honest memoir best illustrates the challenges veterans face while coping with civilian life as well as the abatement of government and health care.

Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond Between a Marine and a Navy Seal that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice by Tom Sileo and Colonel Tom Manion

Passing away only three years apart and now buried side by side in Arlington National Cemetery lay U.S. Marine First Lieutenant Travis Manion and U.S. Navy Seal Lieutenant Brendan Looney, roommates, best friends, and now “brothers forever.”  Written by Manion’s father and award-winning journalist Sileo, Brothers Forever shares the personal stories of these two service men as a way to not only keep their memories alive for friends and family but to also honor them.  This heart-felt publication is rich with stories of courage and sacrifice that will bring the realities of Iraq and Afghanistan closer to home. 

Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca by Maria Goodavage

Step into the world of Specialized Search Dog Lucca K458 and her handlers, Chris Willingham and Juan Rodriguez.  As a K-9 Marine, Lucca is a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix trained to search for and find explosives off leash at great distances, and has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  With over 400 missions under her belt, Top Dog will illustrate the extraordinary bond between four-legged and two-legged service members while touching on the bravery of service animals on and off the battlefield.  Lucca is one tough pup, and this book is sure to warm your heart despite the sorrows and anguishes of war.



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