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Sacred Duty

A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery
Narrated by: Tom Cotton, Jeremy Arthur
Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Their Duty Is Sacred. Their Standard Is Perfection.

An extraordinary journey behind the scenes of Arlington National Cemetery, Senator Tom Cotton’s Sacred Duty offers an intimate and inspiring portrait of “The Old Guard”, the revered US Army unit whose mission is to honor our country’s fallen heroes on the most hallowed ground in America. 

Cotton was a platoon leader with the storied 3rd US Infantry Regiment - The Old Guard - between combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the height of the Iraq Surge, he carried the flag-draped remains of his fallen comrades off of airplanes at Dover Air Force Base, and he laid them to rest in Arlington’s famed Section 60, “the saddest acre in America.” He also performed hundreds of funerals for veterans of the Greatest Generation, as well as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. 

The Old Guard has embodied the ideals of honor and sacrifice across our nation’s history. America’s oldest active-duty regiment, dating back to 1784, The Old Guard conducts daily military-honor funerals on the 624 rolling acres of Arlington, where generations of American heroes rest. Its soldiers hold themselves to the standard of perfection in sweltering heat, frigid cold, and driving rain. Every funeral is a no-fail, zero-defect mission, whether honoring a legendary general or a humble private. 

In researching and writing the book, Cotton returned to Arlington and shadowed the regiment’s soldiers, from daily funerals to the state funeral of President George H. W. Bush to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, reliving the honor - and the challenges - of duty at the nation’s “most sacred shrine.” 

Part history of The Old Guard, part memoir of Cotton’s time at Arlington, part intimate profile of the today’s soldiers, Sacred Duty is an unforgettable testament to the timeless power of service and sacrifice to our nation. 

©2019 Tom Cotton (P)2019 HarperAudio

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 05-29-19

Terrific!

This book is a great way to learn more about the ceremonial history of the US and the US Army. Senator cotton does a great job.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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powerful and poignant. a must read!

A must read for any patriotic American left or right. An amazing documentary love letter to the Armys oldest and most visible unit. Read this and learn what they do for all Americans every day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • bberry
  • BENTON, AR, US
  • 07-08-19

Excellent account of the Old Guard

As an Honor Guard soldier, this brings back great memories. Truely an Honorable time for me.

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Fantastic Insight

This book was a brief but through look into a brotherhood of pride and honor!

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Living History

Senator Cotton has presented a living history of the darker side of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. That inevitable part that career Solders, like myself, do not talk about, though remains in the forefront of our minds every duty day. This presentation confirms the stories my both grandfathers and my father told me about the destiny of not only heros, but all that offer their life in service to the USA, like themselves.
I offer thanks to Senator Cotton for the words, and I offer my deepest respect to my Brothers-in-Arms for their service in the Old Guard and their dedication to our fallen warriors.
-SFC Charles Work, Retired

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Sacred Duty for our Warriors!

Absolutely mesmerized and surprised at how much work goes into honoring our military service members who give their lives in the performance of their duties. I had no idea what went into this type of work and how important it is to the American people and most of them don't even know. What got me the most were the dignity transports. Absolutely amazing.

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Tradition!

Chock full of incredible personal stories, historical references and tons of jaw dropping tradition that makes you want to look for a flag to salute. Loved it!

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A great book’

As as a veteran I really appreciate this book. Although the sent me to Germany in1969 I am still a veteran and live my country. I am moved by the dedication the Old Guard gives to those who have died for our freedom.

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Now I Know Why They Fight So Hard

I thank Tom Cotton and Jeremy Arthur for the Audible presentation. No history book I have ever read or listened to before has brought tears to my eyes. The facts, dedication, and passionate resolve, of the members of The Old Guard past, present, and as expected in the future, are clearly expressed. I would love to visit Arlington again after listening to the book. I was in awe of the cemetery and how many honored soldiers were inturred there on my only visit. Little did I know of those who were honoring and protecting them, and those who are not military members who support them in kind.
Who they are, What they do, When they did it, Where they have been, and Why they are legion.

I Cannot Thank You Enough For Your Endeavor.

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An excellent book on the old guard

A most Excellent book. A must read to understand why the traditions are so important and Sacred