Monday, April 13, 2009

Great Reading

When "Band of Brothers" by Steven Ambrose was released I bought a copy with every intention of reading it. As with a lot of the books I have bought they seem to get set aside and somewhat forgotten, but I always seem to find a reason and time to read them. "Band of Brothers" was made into a mini-series for HBO and like so many people I watched it faithfully until it's completion. The very last episode was very intriguing to me and served as the catalyst for me to search out the book from it's shelf, blow off the dust and began to read. The episode I refer to is when Major Winters speaks of the soldiers he served with and what happened to them after the war.
After finishing that book I signed on to, searched out and purchased "Beyond Band of Brothers" and "Biggest Brother" both books about Major Dick Winters. I have since watched "Band of Brothers" several times always seeming to pick up a little something new. Though these books were very interesting I felt there was more to be said of Easy Co. and it would come from other perspectives. A little research and digging proved this to be true.
I discovered and purchased the book "Call of Duty" by Lt. Lynn 'Buck' Compton, also of easy company and portrayed in the series by Neil McDonough. Lt.Compton writes of his entire life before, during and after WW II. It is a fascinating story and the book is an easy read. If there anyone who believes more in the American way I would certainly like to meet them.
I could say much more about this book but the real appreciation comes from reading it yourself. My copy will be passed on to my friend now serving in Afghanistan when he returns later this year. I urge everyone to obtain a copy either from the library or purchase one from many online services and take a day or two read it. As I said earlier, it is an easy read but the impact it has will last a lifetime.
It doesn't end there for me either. I recently ordered two more books written by members of Easy Co. Sgt Don Malarkey and Sgt Bill Guarnere both served with Major Winters and Lt Compton and have written their accounts of Easy Co. in Europe. I look forward to reading the events from a NCO's point of view.
So far all of the authors have expressed a common thought that is very striking. That being they are not unique to any of the troops serving in the operations highlighted in the HBO series or the books. You get the feeling that they are quite honored to bee named so prominently but they all tell the same story. They are a small part of a big picture, a part to be proud of for sure, but should never held to a higher degree of recognition that thousands of others in the same theater of war.
Read the book folks--it's well worth it.


Anonymous said...

This truly is a great movie/series. It is intense and emotional and the interviews in-between the various episodes show a group of men who were both brave and intelligent. All of us owes each of these men (and all those who served) a great deal of gratitude for what they sacrificed for us.
The comradeship these men shared is incredible and they were incredible men serving at an incredible time.
The fire service still has this but it certainly doesnt appear (to me) to be as strong as it once was. "We few, we happy few...We Band of Brothers" appears to be leaving our service and that is a shame as we still fight (albeit different types of) battles that require the same principles required of these men...The whole service is changing: some good, some not so...I hope that we can maintain at least this particular tradition...Some of us are just becoming dinosaurs, I guess...

I concur w/ the this!! You wont be disappointed!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe for the heads up on the book. I'll order it. "Band of Brothers" has to be the best WWII movie ever made.