Good Book


10-Year Member
Founding Member
Jun 9, 2006
If you are a bookworm like me and need something new to read, I want to recommend an excellent book I just finished reading yesterday, called “The Long Road Home” by Martha Raddatz. It’s about the battle in Sadr City on April 4th, 2004 involving the 2-5 Cavalry and other units. A platoon from 2-5 Cav was out on patrol, got ambushed and was pinned down in an alley. Several rescue attempts were made and due to the lack of armored vehicles available, many more casualties occurred. There were 8 soldiers killed and over 60 wounded that day. The author also tells what was going on with the families back in the U.S. during this battle and after. The book is intense and gives a good look at a battle from the soldier’s point of view. It reminds me of the book “Black Hawk Down” (another good book). Warning: you will need a box of tissues during parts of the book.
Okay, I read, too. And I have been reading military family is not military... I just finished Amy Efaw's Battle Dress. It was a very quick, fun read. I recommend it if you have a child going to West Point.

P.S. I have also started watching (and enjoying) the military channel..... :eek:
Antoinette, that is funny because I read Battle Dress a couple of weeks ago. Ever since my son started this journey I have been reading a lot of military books too. If you haven't already read "Absolutely American" you have to read it! I'm on the waiting list at the library for a new book written by a doctor who served in Iraq (I can't think of the name right now). I go through a book or two each week and my husband gives me crap about how much I read, but I can't help it I have always been like this.

Speaking of the miltary channel...I have been watching that for years thanks to my husband and two boys. There are some really interesting shows on that channel.
Yes, I, too, have read Absolutely American. I did not like the somewhat negative tone throughout the book. I wonder what the current cadets think about the book...otherwise I enjoyed it.

Is the book you are referring to written by Navy CMDR Richard Jadick? I am glad you reminded me. I have been meaning to read it. He is a Medical College of Georgia resident in Augusta, GA. His book comes highly recommended by retired Air Force General Perry Smith, a board member of the Medal of Honor Foundation. The book is On Call in Hell. Here is a link to a review of the book:

Another excellent book I have read recently:

Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty, by Peter Collier. (also recommended by General Smith).

Here is an article written by General Smith:

Can you tell? General Perry Smith is a hero of mine.

Antoinette :smile:
I just checked my list and you are right, the book I was referring to is "On Call in Hell". I first saw the book in our local Costco. I didn't buy it because I am trying not to buy so many books, so I get to wait my turn for a library copy.

Some other suggestions if you haven't read them already:
--"Duty First" by Ed Ruggero
--If you like football like I do: "A Civil War (Army vs. Navy) - A year inside college football's purest rivalry" by John Feinstein. :biggrin:
--"From Baghdad, With Love - A Marine, The War, and a Dog Named Lava" by Jay Kopelman
--"Love My Rifle More Than You" by Kayla Williams (the war in Iraq from an enlisted woman's perspective)

Since my father is a Marine Vietnam Veteran I've also read many books about that war. I think I have been trying to get an idea of why he ended up being so messed up and absent from my life.

Anyway...happy reading to you!
Interesting topic...some of us "doods" like to read too. :shake:

I think "Absolutely American" was terrific...though there are some negatives it is a true portrayal of life at the much of the stuff in there applies to any one of them. And some of it is down right inspirational.

"Dress Gray" is an interesting if different portrayal of West Point life.

I am currently reading "Wild Fire" a thriller by Nelson DeMille, one of our top storytellers...very chilling.

My son takes after me as well; his summer list includes:


"Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire"

Allan Dulles' book about the CIA

He is a government major so he likes this kind of thing.:thumb:

Not sure when he'll get a chance to read, though.:wink:
Son is trying to get me to read Gates of Fire. Heh. Yeah right. Too heavy for me. I just can't do it..... :rolleyes:

Lay your hands on some Pat Conroy. The Great Santini & The Lords of Discipline were awesome reads. Absolutely American is listed as a must read for kids & parents looking at academies. I relate to the "characters" much better being two years into this gig. For a fun read with history & mystery & all that, try Shadow Divers.
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm always looking for new titles to read. Gen. Shinseki has some good suggestions, there are only two on his list that I have already read.

By the way, I don't want you to get the wrong idea, I do read fiction too. :wink:
Okay all you readers, I spent the night at the house of a couple last fall. To read myself to sleep I picked up a library book laying on the nightstand. It was a techno thriller about global warming that by the second chapter had the hero stuck in a snow crevice in a snowcat in Antartica. My friend says she only reads about half the books she picks up at the library and doesn't remember this one. Does anyone know the title?
Sounds like something by Greg Iles or James Patterson, masters of that genre
Last Friday I finally got “On Call in Hell” from the library and finished reading it yesterday. CDR Jadick’s life story is very interesting; he was a Marine officer before becoming a Navy doctor. I also learned a lot about Navy Corpsmen and what they do. Another book for my list of recommendations. :thumb:
bossf51 said:
I am currently reading "Wild Fire" a thriller by Nelson DeMille, one of our top storytellers...very chilling.

About the time you posted this I bought this book and "Night Fall" from our library's book sale - got both in hardcover for $1 each.
Finished "Night Fall" - it is a pageturner. I am onto "Wild Fire" it sorta picks up where "Night Fall" ends- you are right it is chilling.
I am enjoying "Night Fall"! Thanks, ya'll. First year SA parents need distractions....:rolleyes:
Great! I liked "Night Fall" as well. I am having a Nelson DeMille summer and finished "Plum Island", and have now moved onto "Up Country".

"Up Country" takes place in Vietnam about 10 years ago and flashes back to the war. It is really good and I am learning a lot about the country, the people and the culture as well as the war.
Hey Just_A_Mom,

How was "Up Country"? I read it several years ago and I think, after reading Nelson DeMille's "Night Fall" and "Wild Fire", that "Up Country" is one of his best books.

Has anyone read "Platoon Leader" by James McDonough (1985)? It is a concise story about being a platoon leader in Vietnam in 1970. James McDonough is a West Point graduate (1969). The book is well written and gripping.
Antoinette -

yep, I really liked "Up Country" - I confess that I didn't realize it was about Vietnam until I started reading it. Had I known that I probably would have passed on it but I am glad I read it.
I really liked the back and forth between the Vietnam of the war and the present day Vietnam. I learned a lot - which may not be saying much since even though my Dad was in Saigon from '69-'70 - I am admittedly pretty ignorant about the War and the Country.
This week I came across a good book in the local library. It is "The Civilian's Guide to the US Military: a comprehensive reference to the customs, language, and structure of the Armed Forces" by Barbara Schading.

For a civilian like me this book is interesting and a big help in understanding many things about the services. The only fault I can find is they cover all the service academies except for the Merchant Marine Academy. I may have to write the author and find out why she didn't mention MMA.

Jamzmom -- Is MMA the "redheaded stepchild" of the academies or what? :wink: