Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Voices of the Pacific

Voices of the Pacific by Adam Makos

I first heard about this book after reading A Higher Call, also by Adam Makos. After learning he had the chance to interview many vets from WWII I looked up other books by him, curious to see if he'd only written the one.

About this time I was reading about the paratroopers and watching Band of Brothers. I soon discovered some the men in Voices of the Pacific were featured in the other mini-series done by the men who'd made Band of Brothers, called The Pacific.This only deepened my interest in the book and I finally picked it up.

I'm very glad I did.

Adam Makos interviewed fifteen Marines for this book. All of the men fought on the islands near Japan, where they forced their way across them and reclaimed them from the Japanese soldiers. Some of the men even fought in the famous battle of Iwo Jima.

As the introduction put it, or one of the men who read the book, this is kind of like reading the last story your grandfather would tell you right before he dies. In this book the men held back nothing. They talked about all the death they say, the friends they lost, the horrors they witnessed, and everything they felt as a result. They confessed to their anger and hatred they sometimes felt toward the Japanese soldiers. It made the book painful to read, but I was grateful for these men and their willingness to tell their stories in spite of the pain and sorrow it must have cost them. I believe it is important that their stories aren't forgotten.

The only thing I wished I had done before reading this book was that I had watched The Pacific. (I've heard there are many scenes in the beginning of the show, but the later episodes don't have them and are really good.) I believe Adam Makos wrote this book under the knowledge that everyone who read it would have seen the mini-series. There were times when I felt like I should know a man mentioned or an event which happened. So that is my only recommendation to others before they read. At least watch the later episodes of the series.

Other than that I think this is another book everyone should at least read once. These men were remarkable and what they did left me in awe. There is some language in it, but not nearly as much as in the paratrooper books I've read. The fifteen men who told their stories all seemed like sweet men and I think I will always regret that I didn't get the chance to meet any of them. (It did give me a new appreciation for a man I know who was a Marine himself. Also a very sweet older man.)

Amazing book though! Definitely recommended.

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