By Ekta R. Garg
July 10, 2013
Rated: Borrow it
With people celebrating Independence Day this month, people often remember the members of our military who fought in past wars and continue to fight today for the basic freedoms of our country’s residents. Many times these heroes and their deeds go unnoticed. To celebrate these war heroes, this May the Reader’s Digest Association published Stories in Uniform: A Look at the Heroics, Sacrifices, and Triumphs of Our Soldiers, a compilation of stories and articles by members of the military and others who had the opportunity to observe firsthand the wars in question.
The book includes accounts from World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Bosnian War, the Gulf War, and the War on Terror. All of the stories take readers right into the middle of the action, although some do a better job of relaying that action than others. The writing in a few of the stories from the World Wars, for example, sound more like factual accounts and less like articles designed to engage the reader. Other stories include a little too much technical information, although in some of these stories the technical language is warranted so readers may appreciate the depth of the impact of the event at hand.
A few of the stories will reinforce the gravity of that impact. “Sergeant Erwin and the Blazing Bomb” guarantees to make readers tear up at the extent of bravery one man showed to save others. “On A Wing and A Prayer” brings alive the danger of Hitler’s Germany and how a hero fought incredible circumstances to come home to his family. “Beyond the Call of Duty in Vietnam” emphasizes how even in the midst of the horrors of war, soldiers still remember their humanity and do everything they can to preserve and share it.
The following quote from “The Courage of Sam Bird” summarizes the spirit of the book: “Put the troops first. Know that morale often depends on small things. Respect every person’s dignity. Always be ready to fight for your people. Lead by example. Reward performance.” While I would have liked to have seen some stories from the women in the military and also stories from even earlier wars, this book stands as a fine testament to the love, the loyalty, and the courage our troops have shown in the past and continue to show as they fight for our country. I recommend Stories in Uniform, particularly for those readers with a personal connection to our military.
What the ratings mean:
Bookmark it!–Read this book and then buy it and add it to to your own collection. It’s definitely worth it!
Borrow it–Check this one out from the library; it’s a worthy read, but think twice before spending your hard-earned money on it.
Bypass it–Free time is precious. Don’t spend it on this book!