Regular price: $23.93

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Every day ordinary young Americans are fighting and dying in Iraq, with the same bravery, honor, and sense of duty that have distinguished American troops throughout history. One of these is Jason Dunham, a 22-year-old Marine corporal from the one-stoplight town of Scio, New York, whose stunning story reporter Michael M. Phillips discovered while he was embedded with a Marine infantry battalion in the Iraqi desert.

Corporal Dunham was on patrol near the Syrian border on April 14, 2004, when a black-clad Iraqi leaped out of a car and grabbed him around his neck. Fighting hand-to-hand in the dirt, Dunham saw his attacker drop a grenade and made the instantaneous decision to place his own helmet over the explosive in the hope of containing the blast and protecting his men. When the smoke cleared, Dunham's helmet was in shreds, and the corporal lay face down in his own blood. The Marines beside him were seriously wounded. Dunham was subsequently nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for military valor.

Phillips's minute-by-minute chronicle of the chaotic fighting that raged throughout the area and culminated in Dunham's injury provides a grunt's-eye view of war as it's being fought today: fear, confusion, bravery, and suffering set against a brotherhood forged in combat. His account of Dunham's eight-day journey home and of his parents' heartrending reunion with their son powerfully illustrates the cold brutality of war and the fragile humanity of those who fight it. Dunham leaves an indelible mark upon all who know his story, from the doctors and nurses who treat him, to the readers of the original Wall Street Journal article that told of his singular act of valor.

©2005 Michael M. Phillips; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Phillips' nearly shot-by-shot recap of the day's bloody and chaotic combat is one of the most vivid depictions of the American side of the Iraqi insurgency." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • James
  • Sacramento, CA, USA
  • 07-31-05

Semper Fi

This book exposes the magnificent heartbreak of being a marine in combat. Seen in large part through the eyes (and mouths) of the grunts living through the fog and absurdity of war, the author transports the listener inside a marine squad faced with the horror of the multilation and potential death of its leader. Not for the fainthearted. No doubt combat vets will see themselves in the stories of these men. I did.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Gift of Valor (unabridged)

Phillips does an excellent job of taking the reader through the ups and downs of Marine life -- for both the Marine and the family left behind. We get to see the human side of the Marine for a change. To those who have family members serving in Iraq, they will recognize the worry, relief, joy, pride and agony. For others, this book provides a good window into the personal struggles faced by those serving in the military and their families.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good book - bad audio book...

Great story. The kind of story every American, especially those who think that we only do harm in this world, should read.

The author does a great job of getting you to know the people in the book. So much so that I really had to try hard to keep from Googling them before finishing the book. You feel like you know the Marines, the nurses, the commanders, the mothers and fathers. You want to reach out to them. Tell them that you want to help.

Unfortunately, I bought the audio version and I just couldn't get into the narration. Reminded me too much of those educational movies we had to watch in school in the 70's.

Buy the book. Read it. Think about it. Think about the Marines, their families, their dedication to this great country. And the next time you are able, walk up to a service man or woman and shake their hand. Thank them for sacrificing so that you don't have to. Buy them lunch if you can. Most of us take our lives for granted, the Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen of this country don't have that luxury. They were normal kids, from normal families all over America who volunteered to give it up so that they could make a difference.

Thank you Michael Phillips for sharing this important story of a true American hero!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story bad narration

Why would you have someone read a story that has no tone and one minute reads slow then speeds up.

  • Overall
  • Steve
  • Mount Nelson, TAS, Australia
  • 07-25-05

A powerful story which describes the real war....

This story is simply told in simple language, but very powerful. It describes the affect of war on people, young soldiers, parents, brothers and sisters and of the horrors faced by the young men of the US in Iraq. I found at times that the tears wlled up in my eyes and the anguish and waste of war was described. If more politicians read this story, perhaps there would be less wars in the future !! (we can all hope.....)
The only negative is that the narration is not great, however the boring voice does not take away from the power of the story.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Greg
  • Carmichael, CA, USA
  • 07-13-05

Raw Heroism

I have a weakness for heroic tales and "The Gift of Valor" floored me. I have served in the military and I found this book laden with the brutal realities of War. This book takes you to the heart of what makes men heroes.
"The Gift of Valor" is well read and fast paced. I enjoyed the book very much.