Monday, October 05, 2020

Grandson's Tribute to His World War II Hero Moving and Faith-Promoting

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Imagine you're the radio operator on a B-29 Superfortress airplane flying over Japan on a bombing mission during World War II.  As you're dropping the explosives through a chute, one backfires, filling your aircraft with smoke.  Blinded and knowing you have only seconds to act before the bomb detonates, killing you and the rest of the men on board, what do you do?  

If you're 23-year-old Henry "Red" Erwin, you grab the bomb, make a desperate, sightless crawl through the aircraft, find an available window, and force it outside.  You save your buddies but at an incredible cost to yourself.  With third-degree burns over at least 20-50% of your body, you spend the next few years undergoing agonizing operations and procedures to save your skin, reconstruct your ear, and rebuild your face.  Even then, you must go through the rest of your life with a damaged body.  Your face will always bear horrific scars, the kind of disfigurement that scares children and makes adults gasp.  You receive the Medal of Honor, a prize that comes with its own weight.  Was it worth the sacrifice?  If you're Red Erwin, the answer is a resounding yes.

In Beyond Valor, Red's grandson, Jon Erwin along with co-writer William Doyle, tells the story of Red's heroism during World War II.  They also explore the two things that most strengthened Red during his ordeal in the B-29 and throughout his long, painful recovery—his marriage and his faith.  Although Beyond Valor is less than 200 pages, it's packed with a lot of interesting information, which made it a quick but impactful read.  I especially enjoyed learning about Red's constant reliance on God and would, in fact, have liked to hear more about that.  Still, I found his story to be a powerful example of how faith can help us through our darkest hours.  Although Red's tale is both intriguing and moving, my favorite part of Beyond Valor might actually be a section at the end of the book entitled "Seven Prayers."  It details seven instances in which American presidents called on their Creator to help them in times of great national stress.  Again, it's a faith-promoting testament to the power of prayer and faith.  All of these elements combined to make Beyond Valor a touching, uplifting read.  I don't always enjoy non-fiction books about war, but this one engaged me, made me think, and touched my soul.

Jon Erwin and his brother, Andy, are the creators of faith-based films like their 2018 hit I Can Only Imagine.  The duo plans to make a movie based on their grandfather's World War II experience.

(Readalikes:  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Beyond Valor from the generous folks at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

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Interested in more reviews of Beyond Valor?  Click on the links below to follow along on the book's blog tour:


Monday, September 21st: @hannah_reads

Tuesday, September 22nd: Savvy Verse and Wit – author guest post

Thursday, September 24th: Treestand Book Reviews

Monday, September 28th: What is That Book About – excerpt

Wednesday, September 30th: Books Cooks Looks – excerpt

Thursday, October 1st: @meetmeinthestacks

Monday, October 5th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books

Wednesday, October 7th: @lets_talk_books_and_cats

Thursday, October 8th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife

Monday, October 12th: Laura’s Reviews

Thursday, October 19th: @liferhi_inspired

2 comments:

  1. Love the sound of this one! I hope they do end up making a movie of it, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Red sounds like a wonderful person and this an interesting book.

    ReplyDelete

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