Just finished “Living with Honor: A Memoir” by Sal Giunta. I found it to be an excellent read and I highly recommend it. For those who don’t know; Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta is the first living recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He is also a Cougar ’04 (alum of Kennedy HS in Cedar Rapids, IA).Though a couple decades earlier; as an alum of Kennedy HS myself, I easily relate to much of his early story about growing up in Cedar Rapids and attending Kennedy. As a veteran, with a combat MOS, Sgt Giunta’s depiction of enlistment, training and comradery brought back so many memories; few unwanted, but most more than welcome and missed. For that I thank him. That said, I cannot imagine, not even remotely, the experience this brave man and his “boys” went through in Afghanistan or the impacts of those experiences has had on them, their families and their friends.Sgt. Giunta, I thank you and your buddies for your sacrifice to serve and protect this great nation and I thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m so thankful we have citizens like you. God Bless !!!
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. True heroes are few and far between. Circumstance are never the same, challenges are always different, but heroes float to the top. They are not perfect; like all of us they have their flaws, but when steel meets steel their character shines as a beacon for all of us. Sgt. Giunta and Lt Zamperini rise to the highest level.
The scene that describes how Sgt. Giunta earned the Medal of Honor is a great story, though horrific because of the loss of life. But honestly my favorite was when Sal ran into a high school classmate in Italy that led to his meeting his future wife Jenny.
There were many, but the one that most moved me was the letter Sgt. Giunta received from his father.
Only about 1% of our population stand guard to protect our freedom and liberty. These are volunteers who believe in this great experiment in democracy so much that they ante their own lives. Not all of us can match their strength, their patriotism or their sacrifice, but all can and should thank them, praise them and support them.
This may be Dan Brown’s best work. Some will disagree; regardless, it is his most important. As with his other novels, “Inferno” is well written and riveting. What makes this book so important are the questions he presents as the plot unfolds. As good as “Angels & Demons” and the “Di Vinci Code” are, they address faith and use facts to present plausible alternative speculation and opinion. “Inferno” deals with a very real reality and offers a handful of solutions to mitigate, even eliminate, very real concerns. For many, including myself, those solutions are culturally distasteful and faithfully reprehensible, but history has been consistent; conscious choice to ignore reality is gross negligence.
“Inferno” isn’t just another Robert Langdon two or three day romp through history and the arts. It is a real and serious set of questions that demand real and serious solutions.
I found Fall of Giants a very good listen and look forward to Book 2.
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