In Honor of our Veterans

This week, the AUM Library is proud to salute our nation’s veterans from all branches of the military, and from all wars and conflicts. Check out these titles and more this week at the Library, and take a moment to remember those who have fallen to protect our freedom.
American Women in World War I: They Also Served
By Lettie Gavin
Gavin draws from the full range of possible sources for this excellent volume. The number of American women who served in World War I ran into the tens of thousands, with 11,000 “Yeomanettes” in the navy alone (they were the first U.S. women to officially don uniforms). Others included army nurses, doctors who volunteered as “contract employees,” the “Hello Girls” who supplied the Signal Corps’ telephone system with English-speaking operators (and were not recognized as deserving of pensions and other benefits until long after most had died), physical therapists, and the volunteers of the Red Cross and Salvation Army. One and all, they overcame sexism, racism, bureaucratic inertia, shells, gas, the Spanish influenza, long hours, short rations, and poor quarters to accomplish a prodigious amount of work. And they did all that without benefit of any “gender studies” concepts or jargon, from which Gavin’s readable, highly recommendable volume is also blessedly free.
Band of Brothers (DVD)
Based on the bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose, the epic 10-part miniseries Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers’ journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. They were an elite rifle company parachuting into France early on D-Day morning, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and capturing Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were also a unit that suffered 150 percent casualties, and whose lives became legend.
The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War
By David Halberstam
Pulitzer-winning historian Halberstam first decided to write this book more than thirty years ago and it took him nearly ten years. It stands as a lasting testament to its author, and to the fighting men whose heroism it chronicles. Halberstam gives us a full narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides, charting the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides vivid portraits of all the major figures–Eisenhower, Truman, Acheson, Kim, and Mao, and Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Ridgway. He also provides us with his trademark narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial battles with reportage of the highest order. At the heart of the book are the stories of the soldiers on the front lines who were left to deal with the consequences of the dangerous misjudgments and competing agendas of powerful men.
A Life in a Year: The American Infantryman in Vietnam, 1965-1972
By James R Ebert
Ebert combines interviews and printed primary sources in this brilliant reconstruction of the infantryman’s experience during the Vietnam War. Though accounting for less than 10% of the American troops in Vietnam, the infantry suffered more than 80% of the losses. Ebert, a secondary school teacher in Wisconsin, tells their story chronologically, from the grunts’ induction and training, through their arrival in Vietnam, their first encounters with battle and their final rendezvous with the airplane that would carry them home–the “freedom bird,” one of the numerous military terms, abbreviations and Vietnamese words defined in the glossary. The infantrymen confronted environments from rice paddies to jungles, from densely populated cities to virtually empty countryside. They fought in patrol skirmishes and in division-scale battles. They learned to kill, but few understood a war with no clear objectives. They survived, but most paid a price for their survival. The book belongs in every collection on America’s longest and most controversial war. Source: