I honestly love nearly every book that is published by all of the imprints under the Workman umbrella, but Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty (published by our sister company Artisan) will always be my favorite. In honor of Veterans Day, I wanted to take the opportunity to draw your attention to this immensely powerful and moving book which tells the story, in the recipient’s own words, of how these veterans came to receive America’s highest military honor.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Since its introduction on December 9, 1861, 3,448 Medals have been awarded. Of those, 116 who were living at the publication of this title, shared their stories with Nick Del Calzo for this book.
The 116 living Medal of Honor recipients featured in the book fought in conflicts from World War II to Vietnam, serving in every branch of the armed services, and this is their ultimate record—the only book sponsored and endorsed by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
There are a great many ways to show our gratitude and honor American soldiers throughout the year, not just on November 11th. Below is just a brief list of some of the non-profit organizations available to support active and veteran members of the military and their families year round. Whatever you have available to donate is greatly appreciated, whether its time, money, or some beef jerky!
United Services Organization: For over 67 years, the USO has served as the primary bridge between the American people and America’s Armed Forces, delivering a unique combination of morale building, counseling, and recreational services to our troops and their families all over the world.
Give2theTroops: This non-profit assembles care packages to send overseas, along with letters and banners. They have a list of the most requested items on their site, or you can make monetary donations to help cover the shipping costs of the giant packages that they send overseas. (86,000 packages since 2002!)
Sew Much Comfort: If you have just intermediate sewing skills, you can sign up to help create adapted civilian clothing to keep wounded servicemen comfortable while they recover from their injuries (and prevent them from having to live in a hospital gown!).
Homes for our Troops: This organization builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans at no cost to them.
HeroMiles: Have frequent flier miles you aren’t going to use? Donate them to military men and women who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center, and to their families, allowing them to fly to visit.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors: TAPS is a 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or circumstance of the death.
Veteran’s History Project: Part of the American Folklife Center with the Library of Congress, the History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American War Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.
GiveAnHour: This nonprofit organization provides free mental health services to U.S. military personnel and their families affected by the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wounded Warrior Project: The Wounded Warrior Project provides services and programs that ease the burdens of the most seriously wounded and their families, aid in their recovery process, and smooth their transition back to civilian life.
To see more ways to help out veterans, soldiers, and their families check out this great list that the AARP posted here.