The following page contains a brief summary of Michael Lee Lanning's published works as well as a new book written by his wife, Linda Moore-Lanning. All of these books are available at leading online retailers such as and

"The Blister Club"

During World War II, some 10,000 American bombers and fighters were shot down over Europe. Of the crews aboard, 26,000 men were killed, while 30,000 survived being shot down only to be captured and made prisoners of war. Against the longest of odds, nearly 3,000 airmen made it to the ground alive, evaded capture, and escaped to safety. These men proudly called themselves the Blister Club.

Drawing on tens of thousands of pages of mostly untapped documents in the National Archives, Michael Lee Lanning tells the story of these courageous airmen. They had received escape-and-evasion (E & E) training, and some were lucky enough to land with their E-&-E kits—but all bets were off once they hit the ground. They landed after an air catastrophe. The geography was usually unfamiliar. Civilians might or might not be trustworthy. German soldiers and Gestapo agents hunted down airmen as well as civilians who dared help them. If an airman abandoned his uniform for civilian garb, he forfeited Geneva Convention protections. Most faced the daunting task of escaping on foot across hundreds of miles. The fortunate connected with one of the established escape routes to Spain or Switzerland or across the English Channel, or they hooked up with the underground resistance or friendly civilians. Upon return to friendly lines, these men were often able to provide valuable intelligence about enemy troop dispositions and civilian morale. Many volunteered to fly again even though regulations prohibited it. The Blister Club is history with a punch. With a historian’s eye, Lanning covers the hows and whys of escape-and-evasion and aerial combat in the European theater, but the book also vividly captures the stories of the airmen who did the escaping and evading, including that of a young pilot named Chuck Yeager, who, during his own escape, aided the French Resistance and helped another downed airman to safety—and then begged to fly again, eventually securing Eisenhower’s approval to return to the air, where he achieved ace status.

"African Americans in the Revolutionary War"

At first, neither George Washington nor the Continental Congress approved of enlisting African Americans in the new army. Nevertheless, Black men—both slave and free—filled the ranks and served in all of the early battles. Black sailors also saw action in every major naval battle of the Revolution, including members of John Paul Jones’s crew aboard the Bonhomme Richard. At least thirteen Black Americans served in the newly formed U.S. Marine Corps during the war.

Bravery among African Americans was commonplace, as recognized by their commanders and state governments, and their bravery is recorded here in the stories of citizen Crispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre; militiaman Price Esterbrook at Lexington Green; soldier Salem Poor at Bunker Hill; and marine John Martin aboard the brig Reprisal.

As interest in colonial history enjoys renewed popularity due to works like Hamilton, and the issues of prejudice and discrimination remain at the forefront of our times, African Americans in the Revolutionary War offers an invaluable perspective on a crucial topic that touches the lives of Americans of every color and background.

“A thorough, long-overdue study of Black Americans’ contributions during the War of Independence. . . . An important piece of American and African American history.” —Kirkus Reviews

"The African American Soldier"

"The African-American Soldier" portrays the struggles of the courageous men and women who secured the right of black Americans to fight for their country--a country that provided them with nearly two centuries of discrimination. This account of the road to racial equality in the military tracks progress and setbacks as well as dramatic firsts for African Americans.

"Jewish Medal of Honor Recipients: American Heroes"

Jewish Americans have fought in every war and conflict to protect the liberties and freedoms of their country, despite anti-Semitism and prejudices they encountered. Across differences of time, place, and individual background, the heroic service members profiled in this work share a common factor beyond their Jewish heritage: their deeds moved a grateful nation to bestow upon them its greatest military honor.

In Jewish Medal of Honor Recipients: American Heroes, veteran author Michael Lee Lanning presents the stories and official citations of Jewish service members who joined the US Armed Forces’ most exclusive group through their bravery and self-sacrifice in combat.

From the total to date of 3,526 service members who have received the Medal of Honor, Lanning has identified 17 recipients who are confirmed to be Jewish, 11 more who are thought to be Jewish but whose ethnicity has not been fully verified, and another five who were initially recognized as Jewish at the time of award but who have since been determined not to be. Each of these 33 men receives individual attention as Lanning delves into their backgrounds with brief biographies to show the different paths that brought them to their place on the list of honor. He includes the full award citation for each as well.

"Hispanic Medal of Honor Recipients: American Heroes"

La Valentia, el valor, la bravura. Since the creation of the Medal of Honor by the United States Congress in 1861, sixty Americans of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the nation’s highest decoration for bravery and self-sacrifice in combat. In this important new work, Michael Lee Lanning documents what one reader describes as “some of the most extraordinary battlefield exploits ever performed in an American military uniform.”

Based on meticulous research, Lanning has assembled authoritative accounts of these heroic individuals and their deeds of valor, from the American Civil War through the current campaign in the Middle East. This clear and vigorous narrative—derived from enlistment records and other public documents, newspaper accounts, archival sources, and interviews with the families of the honorees—presents brief biographies that include details of the recipients’ lives before and—in the case of those who survived—after their active-duty service. Lanning also includes the text of the citation from each recipients’ Medal of Honor ceremonies and gripping accounts of the battlefield heroics that earned them the ultimate military honor from a grateful nation.

"The Only War We Had: A Platoon’s Leaders Journal of Vietnam"
Texas A&M University Press

During his tour in Vietnam with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, Lieutenant Lee Lanning walked the booby-trapped rice paddies of the Mekong Delta, searching for elusive Viet Cong, and later macheted his way through the triple-canopy jungle, fighting North Vietnamese Army regulars. He served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and company commander. He sweated, thirsted, hunted, killed. And in all those experiences, he shared the terror, boredom, rage, and excitement of countless other American soldiers.

Lee Lanning's story is based on the journal he kept of his time in Nam -- on pages often mud-splattered and occasionally bloodstained. In his wards: "It was popular among many who taught to say that Vietnam 'wasn't much of a war, but it was the only war we had.' I can only add that it was enough of a war for me."

"Vietnam 1969-1970: A Company Commander’s Journal"
Texas A&M University Press

"One of the most honest and horrifying accounts of a combat soldier's life to come out of the Vietnam War." New York Time Book Review of Vietnam 1969-1970: A Company Commander's Journal.

Lieutenant Michael Lee Lanning went to Vietnam as an eager young patriot who was confident of surviving the war. After six months in-country, he was promoted at age 23 to company commander, and his sense of duty began to shift from his nation to preserving the lives of the men in Bravo Company.

Lanning and his men faced an enemy who was patient, elusive, and firm in the belief that they could outlast the Americans. The young commander also confronted the prospect of sudden, violent death, bone-numbing weariness, and the stench of blood and decaying flesh. He would lose friends and would acquire a cynical contempt for all Vietnamese, both allies and enemies.

"Inside the LRRPs: Rangers in Vietnam"
Presidio Press

Vietnam was a different kind of war, calling for a different kind of soldier. The LRRPs--Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols--were that new breed of fighting man. They operated in six-man teams deep within enemy territory, and were the eyes and ears of the units they served. This is their story--of perseverence under extreme hardship and uncommon bravery--and how they carried out the war's most hazardous missions.

"Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam (with Ray W. Stubbe)"
Ballantine Books

Operating on four-to-eight-man teams, the heroic patrols of Force Recon ventured far into the very backyard of the enemy, using tacics associated more with their adversaries than with the U.S. military. They were the eyes and ears of the units they served, and their operations were marked by close combat, extraordinary bravery, and nearly unbelievable survival despite overwhelming odds.

"The Battles of Peace"
Random House Books

A veteran of more than 20 years' service, Michael Lee Lanning describes his 18 months of company command (1974-1976) in Germany. The army was in trouble: drug abuse and racial incidents were increasing, and the end of the draft meant that volunteers came from the "bottom of society." Lanning describes how he administered punishments to restore discipline, provided an "open door" to hear grievances and prepared troops for maneuvers. 1992, Reed Business Information

"Inside the VC and NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam’s Armed Forces (with Dan Cragg)"
Texas A&M University Press

If the costs of the Vietnam War were great to Americans and staggering to the South Vietnamese, they were even worse for the North. And those costs were borne largely by the individual soldiers--the soldiers who won the war. Based on interviews, soldiers' diaries, letters, and government documents, this book, first published in 1992, gives a classic, soldier's-eye account of the war our opponents fought and the men who fought it.

"Vietnam at the Movies"
Ballantine Books

Heroic. Brave. Daring. Until the 1960s, movies about war were good box office. That all changed with Vietnam. Since the war was unpopular and confusing -- lacking clear objectives and easily identified enemies --movie-makers, like many Americans, transferred their dislike for the conflict onto the soldier. Consequently, Hollywood produced pictures that can now be recognizes as misleading, distorted, sensationalistic, or just plain dishonest.

In Vietnam at the Movies, Vietnam vet Michael Lee Lanning traces the genesis of the "war movie" from the Spanish American War all the way up to Vietnam, taking Tinseltown to task for its treatment of the Viet vet--painstakingly separating fact from the fiction, and reviewing the quality and accuracy of more than 380 films and TV movies, including:

Air America * The Big Chill * Birdy * Born on the Fourth of July * Casualties of War * Coming Home * The Deer Hunter * Dogfight * Easy Rider * First Blood * For the Boys * Friendly Fire * Full Metal Jacket * Good Morning Vietnam * Hair * In Country * JFK * The Killing Fields * Lethal Weapon * Nashville * Platoon * Running On Empty * Slaughterhouse-Five * Streamers * Suspect * Swimming to Cambodia * Taxi Driver * Tender Mercies * Top Gun * Year of the Dragon * And many more!

Alphabetically organized for quick and easy access, this comprehensive volume gives film audiences and VCR viewers the opportunity to understand exactly what they are watching when they see Vietnam at the movies.

"Senseless Secrets: The Failures of U. S. Military Intelligence From George Washington to the Present"
Barnes & Noble Books

A survey of the many failures of U.S. military intelligence spanning the course of American history to show how intelligence blunders have cost lives and money. Examples include looking at the blunders of Desert Storm, Grenada, Vietnam, and others.

"The Military 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Military Leaders of All Time"
Citadel Press

From the famous to the infamous to the obscure, The Military 100 provides the fascinating answers to a variety of questions about military leaders. In vivid biographical sketches, the author chronicles the lives and accomplishments of the world's most influential commanders, captains, generals, liberators and conquerors, from Alexander the Great to Hitler, from George Washington to Norman Schwarzkopf.

"The African-American Soldier: From Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell"
Citadel Press

"The African-American Soldier" portrays the struggles of the courageous men and women who secured the right of black Americans to fight for their country--a country that provided them with nearly two centuries of discrimination. This account of the road to racial equality in the military tracks progress and setbacks as well as dramatic firsts for African Americans.

"Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam"
Ballantine Books

"The American sniper could be regarded as the greatest all-around rifleman the world has ever known. . . ."

At the start of the war in Vietnam, the United States had no snipers; by the end of the war, Marine and army precision marksmen had killed more than 10,000 NVA and VC soldiers--the equivalent of an entire division--at the cost of under 20,000 bullets, proving that long-range shooters still had a place in the battlefield. Now noted military historian Michael Lee Lanning shows how U.S. snipers in Vietnam--combining modern technology in weapons, ammunition, and telescopes--used the experience and traditions of centuries of expert shooters to perfect their craft.

To provide insight into the use of American snipers in Vietnam, Lanning interviewed men with combat trigger time, as well as their instructors, the founders of the Marine and U.S. Army sniper programs, and the generals to whom they reported. Backed by hard information and firsthand accounts, the author demonstrates how the skills these one-shot killers honed in the jungles of Vietnam provided an indelible legacy that helped save American lives in Grenada, the Gulf War, and Somalia and continues to this day with American troops in Bosnia.

"Defenders of Liberty: African-Americans in the Revolutionary War "
Citadel Press

Michael Lee Lanning reveals the critical and heroic role African Americans played in the American Revolution, the last war to use integrated units until the Korean conflict. Lanning fills in many unknown details about the defiant fugitive slave who instigated and was the first victim of the Boston Massacre, blacks who fought with the Minutemen at Lexington, and Battle of Bunker Hill hero Peter Salem. 1999, Kirkus Reviews

"Blood Warriors: American Military Elites"
Ballantine Books

They’re some of the toughest and most highly trained fighting men in the world—going where no ordinary soldier would go and doing what no ordinary soldier would dare. Outnumbered and outgunned, operating in small teams of five or six-deep in enemy territory far from help, they rely on their wits, their skills, and each other to get out alive.

Blood Warriors is a penetrating, no-holds-barred account of the training, missions, and history of the military elites who mold America’s most dangerous and highly skilled warriors . . . from the navy’s SEALs and the Marine Corps’ Force Reconnaissance to the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, Rangers, and Special Forces. Here’s an in-depth look at each unit’s methods and standards: what’s required and what it takes to survive and succeed. Whether gathering intelligence, capturing prisoners, executing raids and ambushes, or just creating havoc in enemy territory, these men know that death is their constant companion—and one small misstep could mean body bags for everyone. Maybe that’s why America calls them heroes.

"The Battle 100: The Stories Behind History’s Most Influential Battles"

A single day in the heat of armed conflict can shape the future of the world. Throughout history, individual battles have inspired the birth of nations, the devastation of cultures and the triumph of revolutions. Yet while some battles rise up as the cornerstones of history, others fade in our cultural memory, forgotten as minor skirmishes. Why is this so? What makes a battle "important"? Celebrated veteran and military expert Michael Lee Lanning offers a provocative response with The Battle 100: The Stories Behind History's Most Influential Battles. Lanning ranks history's 100 greatest battles according to their influence, both immediate and long-term. Thought-provoking and controversial, Lanning's rankings take us to the heart of the battles and reveal their true greatness.

"Mercenaries: Soldiers of Fortune, From Ancient Greece to Today’s Private Military Companies"
Presidio Press

Privateers, contract killers, corporate warriors. Contract soldiers go by many names, but they all have one thing in common: They fight for money and plunder rather than liberty, God, or country. Now acclaimed author and war vet Michael Lee Lanning traces the compelling history of these fighting machines–from the “Sea Peoples” who fought for the pharaohs’ greater glory to today’s soldiers for hire from private military companies (PMCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What emerges is a fascinating account of the men who fight other people’s wars–the Greeks who built an empire for Alexander the Great, the Nubians who accompanied Hannibal across the Alps, the Irish who became the first to go global in their search for work. Soldiers of fortune have always had the power to change the course of war, and Lanning examines their pivotal roles in individual battles and in the rise and fall of empires.

As the employment of contract soldiers spreads in Iraq and America’s War on Terrorism–the U.S. paid $30 billion to PMCs in 2003 alone–Mercenaries offers a valuable inside look at a system that appears embedded in our nation’s future.

"The Civil War 100: The Stories Behind the Most Influential Battles, People, and Events in the War Between the States"

The Civil War has a hold on the American mind unequaled by any other eventóand for good reason: it is, after all, the most bloody and brutal war in which America has ever been involved. Three million fought and six hundred thousand died.

But the war was so much more than that: it was a cultural, technological and political transformation on a scale that today is hard to imagine. Many intersecting causes and crucial events led up to the war and ultimately influenced its outcome. Brilliant politicians and soldiers on both sides played instrumental roles, on the battlefield and off.

Which causes were the most important? Which events most influenced the warís outcome? Which soldiers and generals truly deserve to be remembered as legends, and which actually had exaggerated roles? For armchair historians and Civil War buffs alike, The Civil War 100 answers these questions and many more.

"The American Revolution 100: The Battles, People, and Events of the American War for Independence, Ranked by Their Significance"

The American Revolution 100 brings you onto the charred battlefields and inside the maneuverings of the war that produced America. In comprehensive fashion it explains, analyzes, and ranks the war's most significant events, leaders, and battles according to their importance.

Celebrated veteran and military expert Michael Lee Lanning introduces the war's various causes and primary players. The 100 ranked entries that follow include bloody battles, outspoken politicians, military heroes, causes of the conflict, and monumental events.

The War of Independence pitted king against colonialist, monarchy against democracy. Men risked execution for treason in order to bring about the model government that would inspire a world. The American Revolution 100 brings to life its battles, people, and events, including maps and illustrations.

"Double T - Double Cross: The Unauthorized Behind the Scenes Facts About the Termination of Mike Leach as the Coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders"
Scottsdale Book Publishing

DOUBLE T – DOUBLE CROSS The Firing Of Coach Mike Leach: The Backroom Deal That Deflated the Red Raider Nation. Acclaimed author Michael Lee Lanning uncovers the backroom dealings that led to the firing of Coach Mike Leach and turned the Red Raider nation against the Texas Tech administration. 78 percent of all Texas Tech students and alumni believe Coach Mike Leach should not have been fired. 67.5 percent feel Chancellor Kent Hance and the Texas Tech administration badly mishandled the situation and never should have dismissed Coach Mike Leach. 72 percent have an unfavorable opinion of ESPN announcer Craig James. Based on survey of Texas Tech students and alumni conducted September 2-3, 2011. “I strongly urge you to not close this matter concerning Adam James … I don’t want to eliminate our ability to use this to our advantage should we determine to use it to terminate Leach.” --- Email from Regent Larry Anders to Chancellor Kent Hance, December 27, 2009 “Contract obligates TTU to pay ‘completion bonuses’ (800K in 2009 and 200K in 2010) only if he is head football coach at University as of December 31, 2009 … but if we fired him on November 30, 2009, contract does not entitle him to receive the completion bonus.” --- Email from Regent Jerry Turner to Regents John Scovell and Larry Anders, February 20, 2009

"At War With Cancer: One Couple's Strategic Battles for Survival Using Both Traditional and Alternative Treatments"
Bolivar Roads

When diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer, LTC (Ret) Michael Lee Lanning faced a new and fearsome enemy that the doctors said would kill him in 6-18 months. Instead of accepting this as his fate, Lanning, with the help of his wife Linda, pursued strategies--both conventional and alternative--to battle his disease and fight for his life. This book tracks the Lannings' war with cancer from diagnosis to survival, from exploring traditional treatments at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to transitioning to a raw vegan lifestyle learned at Hippocrates Health Institute, from enduring the depths of despair to embracing the heights of hope. Their experiences and insights shared here is the information they sought for themselves when Lanning was first diagnosed.

"Waiting: One Wife's Year of the Vietnam War" by Linda Moore-Lanning
Texas A&M University Press

In April 1969, Linda Moore-Lanning watched her husband, Lt. Michael Lee Lanning, board a Greyhound bus that would take him to a military flight scheduled to deposit him in Vietnam. As he boarded the bus, Lee told her, "It’s only for a year." Moore-Lanning struggled to believe her husband’s words.

Waiting: One Wife’s Year of the Vietnam War is the deeply personal account of Moore-Lanning’s year as a waiting wife. The first-ever book from the perspective of a wife on the home front during the Vietnam War, Moore-Lanning’s telling is both unflinching in its honesty and universal in its evocation of the price exacted from those who were left behind. During her "waiting year," Moore-Lanning traveled far, in both distance and perspective, from the small West Texas town of Roby where she had grown up and met her husband.

Through her eyes, we experience the agony of waiting for the next letter from Lee; the exhilaration of learning of her pregnancy; the frustration of dealing with friends and family members who didn’t understand her struggles; and the solace of companionship with Susan Hargrove, another waiting wife.

Because of her insistence that Lee give her an honest account of his experiences, Moore-Lanning also affords readers a gut-wrenching view of Vietnam as narrated by an infantry commander in the field.

Unfolding with the gripping narrative of a novel, Waiting will captivate general readers, while those interested in military history and home front perspectives—especially from the Vietnam War—will deeply appreciate this impressive addition to the literature.

"Tours of Duty: Vietnam War Stories (Stackpole Military History Series)"
Stackpole Books

These are the stories Vietnam vets tell each other at reunions and over beers. It includes episodes of valor, hardship, humor, and everything in between from more than forty veterans of the Vietnam War and covers all branches of service and all areas of operation in Southeast Asia.

Tony Buzbee - Defining Moments Hardcover – 2014

John M Hardy Publishing Company

Not since flamboyant, fringed-sleeved Gerry Spence has the courtroom seen anyone who can compare to Tony Buzbee. His fame and reputation increases with each successive judgment—including multi-million dollar victories against mega corporations, such as BP and the Ford Motor Company, and government entities such as FEMA and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

Tony Buzbee—a product of a small-town upbringing in East Texas, an education at Texas A&M, the training of the United States Marine Corps, and the experience at the University of Houston Law School—is driven to succeed. He has created the reputation and the reality of a man not to be crossed in the courtroom or elsewhere by working extremely hard to be the best prepared lawyer in any trial and at every settlement discussion. He is a loyal friend and a ferocious enemy. He cares about what is right; his goal is doing the right thing.


Double T Double Cross Double Take (Update of DTDC) Hardcover – 2017

It has been eight years since Texas Tech University fired Mike Leach, its most successful football coach ever. Double T Double Cross released two years later, exposed the backroom deals behind his dismissal. Now Double Take reveals what has happened to the participants and events since with a new introduction and afterword to the 2017 edition. Even though life has moved on for the participants in the story, there remains a keen interest in Leach and what went on in Lubbock at the end of the 2009 football season. Leach, in his fifth year as head coach at Washington State University, remains innovative and forward-looking but he has not given up in seeking justice from Texas Tech.

More than 300 people lined up for the initial release and author’s signing of Double T Double Cross in the fall of 2011. Reviews, both online and in print periodicals, were extremely positive. A few of the actors—those exposed in the book for their backroom deals that led to the firing of Coach Mike Leach—threatened lawsuits. One actually followed through but the complaint never made it out of the initial filing stages. As always, the best defense against any accusation is the truth; not a single line or sentence in the original Double T Double Cross has been proven false or inaccurate.

Coach Leach and the Red Raiders had departed Lubbock heading for San Antonio on Monday, December 28, 2009, to complete preparations for the upcoming post-season bowl game to be played four days later. Upon his arrival in the Alamo City, however, Leach received a stunning telephone call from Athletic Director Myers telling him that he had been suspended from coaching duties—effective immediately—until further notice.

The team—after its spectacular 2008 year—had just completed another successful season, racking up an 8-4 record and making Mike Leach the most winning football coach in Texas Tech history. Not only had the Red Raiders, who had been un-ranked and mostly unnoted a decade before Leach took over, gained national recognition, but also they had done it in a style that old-school proponents of the game said could not be done. Coach Leach had had the vision, and his players had executed it right into the Top 25 in the polls. The Raiders had been flying in more ways than just on planes.

Instead of working on plans for the game scheduled for January 2, Leach sat alone in his hotel room awaiting a legal decision from the 99th Judicial Court in Lubbock, a ruling that would either lift or uphold his coaching suspension imposed two days before by his bosses, Texas Tech Athletic Director Gerald Myers and University President Guy Bailey.


Texas Aggies in Vietnam

From its inception, graduates of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, now Texas A&M University, have marched off to fight in every conflict in which the United States has been involved. The Vietnam War was no different. The Corps of Cadets produced more officers for the conflict in Southeast Asia than any institution other than the US service academies. Michael Lee Lanning, Texas A&M University class of 1968, has now gathered over three dozen recollections from those who served.

As Lanning points out, “anytime Aggie Vietnam veterans get together—whether it is two or two hundred of them—war stories begin.” The tales they relate about the paddies, the jungles, the highlands, the waterways, and the airways provide these veterans with an even greater understanding of the war they survived. They also allow glimpses into the frequent dangers of firefights, the camaraderie of patrol, and often humorous responses to inexplicable situations.

These revelations provide insight not only into the realities of war but also speak to the character of the graduates of Texas A&M University. As Lanning concludes, “these war stories are as much a part of service as is that old green duffle bag, a few rows of colorful ribbons, and a pride that does not diminish. In reality, there is only one story about the Vietnam War. We all just tell it differently.” 




The Veterans Cemeteries of Texas

Texas, home to more than 1.7 million living veterans (the second largest number of any state), is also home to six nationally run and four state-run veterans cemeteries. Each year, more than 12,000 veterans are laid to rest in these hallowed grounds. The Veterans Cemeteries of Texas recounts the stories of these ten official final resting places for Texas veterans, creating—for the first time—a complete guide to these solemn bivouacs of the dead. Author Michael Lee Lanning, a US Army veteran, has not only reconstructed the history of these cemeteries as a tribute to the fallen but has also compiled a useful resource for the living. Lanning details the exact locations, eligibility requirements, and contact information throughout the state for those veterans and their families who might choose to make use of these important public services. Richly illustrated, the book also provides moving descriptions of military burial traditions, such as “Taps” and the 21-gun salute, as well as information about the various types of military headstones (including sixty authorized religious symbols). In the author’s words, “A walk through these burial grounds is a journey across the history of Texas and of the United States.” Lanning’s use of more than 100 captivating photographs, along with his compelling text, allows readers to take that walk through veterans cemeteries in Texas. For lovers of Texas history and military history, The Veterans Cemeteries of Texas is a gripping tribute to past, present, and future Texas veterans and the solemn places where they rest in their last formation and final parade.  





Dear Allyanna: An Old Soldier's Last Letter to His Granddaughter

This final advice, thoughts, remembrances, and guidelines to life by a dying grandfather to his granddaughter offers "things that I have not yet taught her and experiences that I want her to know about and consider." Its poignant information and guidance, delivered with honesty, humor, and affection that is thought-provoking for all ages. It a book that every grandparent should write and every grandchild should read.

More than 130 widely varying subjects--from abortion to Zen, and from military service to writing--are included. "Some of these things I know for sure, others not so much. Some lessons have come easily, others with much angst, disappointments, and sadness. I have placed them in alphabetical order for no other reason than an orderly life is a good life--and that life itself is so complex and constantly changing, there is no other logical or illogical way to list them. Many of these "things I know for sure" and the "others not so much" are accompanied by quotes from the famous and infamous, lines from movies, song lyrics, and from my earlier writings and from my personal journals of the past fifty years.

"As I wrote this letter, I thought about all the things that I would like to ask my father and grandfathers if they were still alive. There are so many things about them and their experiences that I wonder about because I did not inquire when I could have. I do not want my grandchildren to find themselves in the same situation. My primary purpose in writing this letter is to leave something behind for Allyanna. My secondary mission is hopefully to inspire others likewise to leave a written legacy for their families.

"Doubtless many readers of this letter will not agree with the myriad of observations, advice, and opinions that I include. That bothers me not at all. I hope readers will feel free to mark out, scratch through, or otherwise eliminate those things with which they don't agree. Margins are good places to record opposing thoughts or expand on what I've written.

"If nothing else, my deepest wish is for you to have a good, safe, interesting life and to always remember that your grandfather loved you with all his heart. I will always be on your side and at your side as long as I live. After my death, my spirit will always be with you.

"When my time comes I will fight for every last breath, and for every additional second of life. But I will die in peace knowing I have done all that I could and fought for as long as possible. My last thoughts will be of you and the wonderful life you have before you. there are so many important areas of life for which I have not provided you advice. There are so many things that I want you to know. That is the purpose of this letter."




The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson

Eleven years before Rosa Parks resisted going to the back of the bus, a young black second lieutenant, hungry to fight Nazis in Europe, refused to move to the back of a U.S. Army bus in Texas and found himself court-martialed. The defiant soldier was Jack Roosevelt Robinson, already in 1944 a celebrated athlete in track and football and in a few years the man who would break Major League Baseball’s color barrier.

This was the pivotal moment in Jackie Robinson’s pre-MLB career. Had he been found guilty, he would not have been the man who broke baseball’s color barrier. Had the incident never happened, he would’ve gone overseas with the Black Panther tank battalion—and who knows what after that. Having survived this crucible of unjust prosecution as an American soldier, Robinson—already a talented multisport athlete—became the ideal player to integrate baseball.

This is a dramatic story, deeply engaging and enraging. It’s a Jackie Robinson story and a baseball story, but it is also an army story as well as an American story.





Page last updated 02-08-2022
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