Books That Inspire 2004

We Were Soldiers Once – And Young: Ia Drang, the Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam
Harold G. Moore

This first-person chronicle of two early major battles of the Vietnam War is tragically uplifting and very moving to me. It blends visceral descriptions of the horror of combat, inspiring accounts of self-sacrifice, and subtle perspective on military and civilian leadership during the early part of the conflict. The book's subtext illustrates the weave of American history, perhaps unintentionally, beginning with the 7th Cavalry at Little Big Horn and ending with the fate of the soldier pictured on the cover: Rick Rescorla perished after leading 2,700 investment firm employees out of the South Tower on September 11th.
David Mechem
Research Scientist