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Eight veterans from the war in Afghanistan have been awarded our nation’s highest honor for valor in combat since the publication of the third edition of Medal of Honor, including Edward C. Byers, Jr., the newest living recipient and a member of Navy SEAL Team Six, and Clint Romesha, author of the New York Times bestselling Red Platoon. And nearly 50 years after their service, four Vietnam veterans have also since received the recognition they so richly deserve. Now these men rightly take their place in the pages of this revised and updated edition.
Included here are 156 Medal of Honor recipients, captured with a contemporary portrait by award-winning photographer Nick Del Calzo and profiled in moving text by National Book Award nominee Peter Collier. The men in the book fought in conflicts from World War II to Afghanistan, served in every branch of the armed services, and represent a cross section as diverse as America itself. This is their ultimate record.
Inspiration from America’s Military Forces The Center for American Values takes great pride in offering these inspirational quotes. Formed in 2010 the Center remains focused on the need to recognize and preservethe values on which our great nation was founded. This collection of quotes reflects the honor, courage and humility of our most decorated war heroes, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. Their words stand to guide our lives and they will remain forever a legacy of inspiration for generations to come. Proceeds from this book will be shared between the Center for American Values and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to benefit their educational programs.
This is the second of two volumes (M-Z) collecting the citations of Medal of Honor Recipients in World War II. These citations tell the story of valor beyond the normal call of duty. Some of these men made the ultimate sacrifice for American liberty. In such a divisive modern climate it is refreshing to see that these heroes came from all classes, colors, and creeds. The bravery found in these descriptions is truly inspirational.
In The Greatest Medal of Honor Stories Ever Told, editor Tom McCarthy has pulled together some of the finest writings about heroes awarded the highest military honor that capture readers imaginations. The one thing the heroes in this collection have in common—from the bloody battlefields of the Civil War through the lonely mountains of Afghanistan—is uncommon valor. Each of the men in these stories had the courage to calmly stare death in the face and move on—to do what they had to because that was their duty and the lives of others meant more to them than their own.
Chosen from hundreds of accounts of singular devotion to duty, the stories in Medal of Honor stand out for their jaw-dropping tales of bravery. They are the best. No small feat.
On September 29, 2006, Michael Monsoor and two SEAL snipers watched vigilantly for enemy activity from their rooftop post in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. When a grenade thrown from insurgents bounced off Michael’s chest, he could have escaped. Instead, he threw himself onto the live grenade, shielding his fellow soldiers from the immediate explosion. Michael died thirty minutes later, having made the ultimate sacrifice.
As George Monsoor (Michael’s father) and Rose Rea show us in Defend Us in Battle, Michael had prepared for this selfless act all his life—a life that inspires us to have a similar generosity of heart. This fast-paced, compelling biography
tells the true story of a quiet boy from California who achieved his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL and saved numerous lives throughout his deployment
recounts how Michael’s childhood of asthma and being bullied made him a staunch defender of justice and passionate about never quitting
draws on interviews, military documents, and eyewitness accounts to detail Michael’s remarkable military career and devotion to God and others
is perfect for readers of fans biographies such as Unbroken, as well as for anyone eager to remember that this world still has heroes
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Michael received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart for his years serving his country. But his greatest legacy is in the hearts of those he inspired to live, and even die, for the sake of brotherly love.
For fans of Unbroken and Hacksaw Ridge comes the powerful true story of a Medal of Honor recipient who faced more than his fair share of battles – and overcame them through perseverance and faith.
“What Gary Beikirch did to receive his medal is unforgettable – and the story of what he overcame afterward is as big and moving as they come.” (Gary Sinise)
After dawn the siege began. It was April 1, 1970, and Army Green Beret medic Gary Beikirch knew the odds were stacked against their survival. Some 10,000 enemy soldiers sought to obliterate the 12 American Special Forces troops and 400 indigenous fighters who stood fast to defend 2,300 women and children inside the village of Dak Seang. For his valor and selflessness during the ruthless siege, Beikirch would be awarded a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest and most prestigious military decoration.
But Gary returned home wounded in body, mind, and soul. To find himself again, Gary retreated to a cave in the mountains of New England, where a redemptive encounter with God allowed Gary to find peace.
New York Times best-selling author Marcus Brotherton chronicles the incredible true story of a person who changed from lost to found. Gripping and unforgettable, and written with a rich and vivid narrative voice, Blaze of Light will inspire you to answer hurt with ingenuity, to reach for faith, and to find clarity and peace within any season of storm.
The astonishing true account of John Chapman, Medal of Honor recipient and Special Ops Combat Controller, and his heroic one-man stand during the Afghan War, as he sacrificed his life to save the lives of 23 comrades-in-arms.
In the predawn hours of March 4, 2002, just below the 10,000-foot peak of a mountain in eastern Afghanistan, a fierce battle raged. Outnumbered by Al Qaeda fighters, Air Force Combat Controller John Chapman and a handful of SEALs struggled to take the summit in a desperate bid to find a lost teammate. Chapman, leading the charge, was gravely wounded in the initial assault. Believing he was dead, his SEAL leader ordered a retreat. Chapman regained consciousness, alone with the enemy closing in on three sides, beginning the most difficult and exceptional fight of his life.
John Chapman’s incredible display of valor – first by saving the lives of his SEAL teammates and then, aware that he was mortally wounded, single-handedly engaging two dozen hardened fighters to save the lives of an incoming rescue squad – posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor. Chapman is the first airman in nearly 50 years to be given the distinction reserved for America’s greatest heroes.
Alone at Dawn is also a behind-the-scenes look at the Air Force Combat Controllers: the world’s deadliest and most versatile special operations force, whose members must not only exceed the qualifications of Navy SEAL and Army Delta Force teams, but also act with sharp decisiveness and deft precision – even in the face of life-threatening danger.
Drawing from firsthand accounts, classified documents, dramatic video footage, and extensive interviews with leaders and survivors of the operation, Alone at Dawn is the story of an extraordinary man’s brave last stand and the brotherhood that forged him
In the history of America, only one woman has ever received the Medal of Honor: Dr. Mary Edwards Walker.
However, Mary’s life was more than just a medal. Not only was Mary a leading suffragist, the first female surgeon to serve in the United States Army, and an advocate of women’s dress reform, she was a woman who put the lives of others before hers. She sacrificed her personal happiness, her comforts, and her reputation in order to fight for the ideals she believed in, both during and after her service in the American Civil War. Mary was a nonconformist in every way, refusing to bow down to society’s establishments. When society towered above her, demanding her to surrender, Mary planted herself like a tree and stood her ground. Mary’s life is a testament to the idea of selflessness. Today, many Americans stand on her shoulders.
This book is more than a simple biography of Mary’s life. Instead, this book seeks to understand the woman behind the medal. It seeks to discover the core of Mary’s being and the inspirations that turned her into who she was. People may know Dr. Walker. The question is: who was Mary?
By Honor Bound is the powerful and moving story of two Medal of Honor recipients, written by New York Times bestselling author Dick Couch.
“Delivers cracking-good minute-by-minute descriptions of two SEAL missions rich in suspense, with technically accurate fireworks and undeniable heroism.” —HistoryNet
In April of 1972, near the end of the Vietnam War, SEAL Lieutenant Tom Norris performed an unprecedented ground rescue of two American airmen who were shot down behind enemy lines in North Vietnam, a feat for which he would be awarded the Medal of Honor. Just six months later, Norris was sent on a dangerous special reconnaissance mission that would take his team deep into enemy territory. In the running gun battle that ensued, Lieutenant Norris was severely wounded; a bullet entered his left eye and exited the left side of his head. SEAL Petty Officer Mike Thornton, under heavy fire, fought his way back onto a North Vietnamese beach to rescue his officer—an act of heroism that earned him the Medal of Honor as well.
This is the true story of two living American legends who entered military service and the Navy SEAL teams for vastly different reasons—and were thrown together for a single combat mission that would define their lives.
An award-winning military journalist tells the amazing stories of 22 soldiers who’ve won the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.
In the Company of Heroes will feature in-depth narrative profiles of the 23 post-9/11 Medal of Honor awardees who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. This book will focus on the stories of these extraordinary people, expressed in their own voices through one-on-one interviews, and in the case of posthumous awards, through interviews with their brothers-in-arms and their families. The public affairs offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the individual armed services, as well as the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, have expressed their support for this project.
Stories include Marine Corps Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, who purposely lunged toward a Taliban hand grenade in order to shield his buddy from the blast; Navy SEAL team leader Britt Slabinski, who, after being ambushed and retreating in the Hindu Kush, returned against monumental odds in order to try to save one of his team who was inadvertently lost in the fight; and Ranger Staff Sergeant Leroy Petry, who lunged for a live grenade, threw it back at the enemy, and saved his two Ranger brothers.
La Valentia, el valor, la bravura. Since the creation of the Medal of Honor by the United States Congress in 1861, sixty Americans of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the nation’s highest decoration for bravery and self-sacrifice in combat. In this important new work, Michael Lee Lanning documents what one reader describes as “some of the most extraordinary battlefield exploits ever performed in an American military uniform.”
Based on meticulous research, Lanning has assembled authoritative accounts of these heroic individuals and their deeds of valor, from the American Civil War through the current campaign in the Middle East. This clear and vigorous narrative—derived from enlistment records and other public documents, newspaper accounts, archival sources, and interviews with the families of the honorees—presents brief biographies that include details of the recipients’ lives before and—in the case of those who survived—after their active-duty service. Lanning also includes the text of the citation from each recipients’ Medal of Honor ceremonies and gripping accounts of the battlefield heroics that earned them the ultimate military honor from a grateful nation.
Hispanic Medal of Honor Recipients: American Heroes provides the most thorough documentation to date of these courageous Americans and their service to our nation. The work offers a fitting commemoration of their remarkable actions under the direst circumstances, often performed under conditions of discrimination and prejudice, providing inspiration and encouragement for years to come.
The remarkable story of the seven African American soldiers ultimately awarded the World War II Medal of Honor, and the 50-year campaign to deny them their recognition.
In 1945, when Congress began reviewing the record of the most conspicuous acts of courage by American soldiers during World War II, they recommended awarding the Medal of Honor to 432 recipients. Despite the fact that more than one million African-Americans served, not a single black soldier received the Medal of Honor. The omission remained on the record for over four decades.
But recent historical investigations have brought to light some of the extraordinary acts of valor performed by black soldiers during the war. Men like Vernon Baker, who single-handedly eliminated three enemy machineguns, an observation post, and a German dugout. Or Sergeant Reuben Rivers, who spearhead his tank unit’s advance against fierce German resistance for three days despite being grievously wounded. Meanwhile Lieutenant Charles Thomas led his platoon to capture a strategically vital village on the Siegfried Line in 1944 despite losing half his men and suffering a number of wounds himself.
Ultimately, in 1993 a US Army commission determined that seven men, including Baker, Rivers and Thomas, had been denied the Army’s highest award simply due to racial discrimination. In 1997, more than 50 years after the war, President Clinton finally awarded the Medal of Honor to these seven heroes, sadly all but one of them posthumously.
The story of Philadelphia’s only Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War told here for the first time
Michael Crescenz grew up in one of Philadelphia’s booming post-war Catholic neighborhoods, distinguishing himself early on as a leader, brother and friend who fearlessly rose to the defense of others in need. The second of six sons born to a World War II veteran, Michael was known for his big smile, athletic abilities, toughness and fierce competitive spirit. Growing up, Michael’s world revolved around his family, parish, local playgrounds, and the bustling Catholic schools he attended from first grade through high school graduation. All these influences shaped the man he would become – the one who felt a sense of duty to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army to do his part during the Vietnam War.
He was in Vietnam barely two months when his unit, the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, was sent into battle against deeply entrenched enemy forces on Nui Chom Mountain, the fortress in the clouds tucked away in the far northwest corner of South Vietnam near the borders with North Vietnam and Laos. Commanders knew they were in for a fight, but didn’t know the enemy had more than 250 machine gun bunkers deployed along the mountain’s slopes. On November 20, 1968, Alpha Company was ambushed on the wet jungle mountainside, the NVA taking down the two men up front and pinning down the rest with relentless fire.
Thinking first of the danger to those around him, Private First Class Michael J. Crescenz picked up an M60 machine gun and charged the enemy bunkers. He did not survive but his actions saved the lives of his fellow soldiers and allowed them to advance and ultimately prevail. For his valor and sacrifice, Michael was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
No Greater Love tells this story from the perspective of those who loved Michael Crescenz most, close friends, family, Michael’s commanding officer in Vietnam, retired Lieutenant General Sam Wetzel, and medic William “Doc” Stafford, the soldier closest to Michael when he was cut down by enemy fire and who believes to this day that he survived Nui Chom only because of the selfless actions of Private First Class Crescenz.
This book contains the Names, photos, brief biographies and citations for the Medal of Honor recipients buried or memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery. Included are photos of the individual recipients’ grave site/headstone, identified by Section and Grave Number at Arlington. The book begins with history of Arlington National Cemetery, the Memorial Amphitheater, and the Unknown Soldiers, and includes appendixes that contain additional helpful information.
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