- Thirteen Soldiers
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- Thirteen Soldiers: A Personal History of Americans at War
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Anthony C. The following are highlights from that informal interview session with journalist, author and Vietnam veteran Bob Timberg. In 13 Soldiers, I tried to portray individuals from each of the major conflicts this country has been involved in; how they interacted with their situation, and how their lives were affected.
So he fought in the Battle of Lake Champlain, which was one of our victories over the British, and many years later he was beaten very badly in a race riot in Philadelphia. We also tried to bring in the contributions of men like Joseph Paul Martin, who joined the Continental Army at age 15 and went through incredible sacrifices — to someone like Oliver Wendell Holmes who fought and was wounded in the Civil War and went on to be one of our great jurists.
We also have women like Monica Lynn Brown, who fought bravely in the Persian Gulf War as a medic, and frankly her performance should resolve any of the controversy whatsoever about whether women can be in combat.
John McCain ’13 Soldiers’ featured at Baltimore Book Festival
The fact is, her example and many other women, certainly in my view and I hope most other Americans believe women can perform equally as well as men, in fact sometimes better. The common aspect in them is that they were willing to serve causes greater than themselves. Senator John McCain.
BT: Senator, forgive me, but my old newspaper roots are catching up with me. JM: Let me remind you that after , there was probably the greatest upsurge in patriotism in recent history. There is a famous story, of course, of my fellow Arizonian Pat Tilman who was playing professional football and quit that very lucrative business after to join the Army. Tragically, he was killed by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan.
But I believe that when our young Americans see their fellow citizens being beheaded, or whole sections of people being targeted like ISIS is doing to Christians, then I think they will be motivated to serve the country. There was a young woman from Prescott, Arizona named Kayla Mueller.
Kayla Mueller was endowed with a desire to help her fellow human beings, so she was working in a hospital in Aleppo, Syria as a volunteer.
Thirteen Soldiers: A Personal History of Americans at War
While there, she was captured by ISIS, and after a couple of years she was murdered. Kayla Mueller. Courtesy the Mueller family. And we are going to have to stop them. They want to export that evil to the United States.
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He was held by us for four years in a prison camp in Iraq. BT: Thank you, Senator. JM: I spend a lot of time with young people; my children and their friends. I really do, and I think I can substantiate that by the fact that AmeriCorps is oversubscribed.
The Peace Corps is oversubscribed. We have more young people who want to go into the inner cities and Indian reservations to teach than the programs can possibly handle.
JM laughing Yes, and of the inner service rivalry between the Navy and the Marines. BT: Senator, to get back to your book.
A Personal History of Americans at War
You chose thirteen people from the military, but only three I believe were officers. Two were African-Americans; two were women. JM: Mark Salter — my co-writer and longtime friend — is here with me today. Mark did the majority of the leg work. We sat down and talked about the project; the various things we wanted to include.
The American Experience of War
We talked about the people — some I had heard about, others not. Some had a very close connection.
For example, one of the chapters is about a guy named Leo Thorsness. Leo Thorsness ended up in prison with me in Hanoi. But the reason I wrote about him was the incredible engagement he had as a fighter pilot over North Vietnam, where he literally risked his life time-after-time, because two of his fellow pilots were on the ground.
John mccain book 13 soldiers by john
He fought off MiGs, shot two of them down, got his own plane shot up, and went back to refuel three times in an incredible effort to make sure a helicopter rescue mission coming out of Thailand would be able to reach the two downed pilots. Leo was subsequently nominated and received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his action. But I met him as a prisoner after he had been shot down a couple of months later by a surface-to-air missile.
So Leo is one of the stories which is very close to me. In the Korean war, after the initial breaking out at Inchon, where MacArthur drove almost all the way to the Chinese border and we were over-extended, the Chinese came in and drove us back all the way to south of Seoul.
To make a long story short, Mitchell Red Cloud was firing on the advancing Chinese, trying to stop them from clogging the point where the Marines were retreating.
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He was badly wounded and he asked them to tie him to a tree so that he could keep firing on the Chinese to allow the rest of his comrades to safely retreat. Pete Salter later got into a hand-to-hand fight with a Chinese solder and ended up having to choke him to death. The next day they ordered the Marines to go back up. With every conflict the United States has ever been in, how did you finally choose these thirteen particular people?
JM: We looked for individuals that we thought epitomized the times as well as diversity.
Joseph Plumb Martin, who joined when he was fifteen, experienced the starvation and privations of the Revolution from beginning to end. He was the classic example of the young man who not only volunteered but he was also paid to serve. People like Oliver Wendell Holmes who, not only went through the crucible of the greatest blood-letting war America has ever and probably will ever go through, but he also used that searing experience.
His father actually thought his son had been killed and went down to tour the battlefield looking for him.
Oliver Wendell Holmes used to carry his lunch to the court every day in an ammunition box. He gave a couple of really stirring lectures about the need for war and sacrifice. To me, he was and is the intellectual voice of what the meaning of war is all about. As I said, we chose one person from every conflict, beginning with Joseph Plumb Martin — to Michael Monsoor, a Seal Team guy in Iraq who, when two comrades were attacked by a grenade, had a choice between saving his own life or the lives of his two comrades.
Had my nephew fathomed the death of his own younger brother? Did he know his powerful, but. The timeline of this mile ride is as follows: I reach the yard at 11 a.
The train arrives in. The late U.
Photo used under a Creative Commons license of flickr. I have always been frightened by math. Saturday 18 Jan POW Leo Thorsness.
Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr. A graduate of U. Timberg worked at the Baltimore Sun for more than three decades as a reporter, an editor, and a White House correspondent. Contact the author. Related Posts. Schmoke and the debacle at Days Inn. Please Support Our Writers.