Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Soldier Stories, Compiled and Edited by Joe L. Wheeler


Book of My Old Man's Challenge

This compilation contains true stories of experiences in war from World War I to Afghanistan. Some stories describe miraculous deliverance against all odds and others the dogged resilience of the human spirit in the face of horrible adversity.

I think my favorites were "Carrier Pigeons are Real Heroes", by an unknown author, chronicling the service of pigeons as a means of communication in the early 20th century and the lives they saved; "The Dresden Inferno", by Anne Wahle with Roul Tunley, where Mrs. Wahle describes the firebombing of her home and her efforts to get her three children, one of them just an infant, out of a blazing city while others are panicking and running to certain death; "A New Skipper for Charlie Company" by Ken Jones, showing the slow spiritual change of a man who knows that his troops need more than just pep talks to make it fighting in Korea; and "Taking Chance" by Michael Strobl, which traces the journey of a soldier going home with one of the many casualties in the current conflict. The people who expressed their sympathies and their respect for a fallen solider's remains in this last one brought me to tears.

The stories, although they deal with death, torture, and horrendous trials, could be shown to young teens. I know the concept of war is difficult to address, but if we don't talk to our children about it, how can we ever hope to eventually eliminate it? I felt that in these stories, God's care was palpable. Even the soldier on the battlefield or in the P.O.W. camp is noticed and loved.

If you come on this book, I encourage you to read it.

For those that served our country in the armed forces - thank you.

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