Most American soldiers can pinpoint a specific time when life stood still, when they thought, "I'm going to remember this moment forever." It's times like these that have the power to change the future. "Forever a Soldier"--drawn from the massive national collection of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project--illustrates how American soldiers have answered the call to duty with a singular spirit of patriotism, and how military service has transformed their lives. Some of the remarkable stories include a World War II prisoner of war who describes desperate hours spent trying to conceal his Jewish heritage from his German captors; a nurse stationed in Vietnam who remembers a dying patient, his miraculous recovery, and her reward years later; and the survivor of a famed World War II shipwreck who flashes back to four harrowing days in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Culled from letters, diaries, and oral histories by soldiers, sailors, marines, and supporting citizens, these fifty stories constitute an astonishing historical record, a powerful tribute to those who fought, and a celebration of the enduring power of the words of few to speak for many. "Forever a Soldier" captures the personal perspective of war that is all too often lost in news reports and government statements. It is an indispensable contribution to understanding war and its impact on us all.