Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Final Salute




Over at Some Soldier's Mom is a post about a book called The Final Salute.

From her blog...

In Final Salute, Sheeler tells the stories of the fallen, of their homes, of their families, of the memorials and the memories... it is also the story of Major [now Lt. Col.] Steve Beck -- a Casualty Assistance Case Officer (CACO) and his unwaivering efforts to help heal the wounds of those left behind. This is a moving and detailed book (major tissue alert)... I was so moved by the stories... and the writing... honest... honorable... sad... proud... and the photos included are just as awe-inspiring and moving as the one above.


I believe this book should be required reading for every high school student in the U.S. It will also be greatly appreciated by anyone who has served and their families... and those who support them and understand the nature of the sacrifice... and it should be read by anyone and everyone who questions the honor or intent of those who serve in our military. I don't know if those groups will be touched by the stories told by the Fallen and their wives, their parents, and the buddies they left behind, but perhaps they might gain some appreciation for the sacrifice and maybe approach some part of their lives differently and filter some of the pap they get in college and elsewhere through the filter of knowing that some gave all -- for them. Final Salute is a perfectly fitting read for the Independence Day weekend... reminding us all that the Freedom we all enjoy is not free.

At one point, when a Marine questions why they are having a large ceremony for the families telling the stories of each soldier and Marine who had died and formally presenting the medals they had earned, asking, "Why do you have to keep reminding them" [of their loved one's death]? To which Major Beck replied, "This isn't about reminding them," he said. "This is about reminding you."


Personally, I'm not sure if I could make it through this book right now...but I would recommend those of you who might be interested to check it out.

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