As far as his son knew, Captain Robert Trimble was a distinguished bomber pilot in WWII; flying out of England and striking targets deep within Germany, he performed one of the most dangerous jobs in the US military. However, during his father's final years, Lee discovered another side of the war for Captain Trimble: a classified mission that took him into the newly-occupied Soviet territories of Eastern Europe. Beyond the Call tells this extraordinary story, and could be taken for a historical thriller were it not for the meticulous efforts Lee Trimble put into researching the historic records that back up his father's personal recollections. Glamorous Soviet spies, Allied POWs and Cossacks collide in this extraordinary account of how one man unwittingly wound up at the heart of US-Soviet relations, and directly saved hundreds of lives.
Thorpe is a meticulous reporter who spent years interviewing three women who signed up for the Indiana National Guard before 9/11 only to find that their lives would be forever changed, and not always for the better, by the service they gave. Thorpe had access not only to her subjects and their families, friends, and colleagues, but also to emails, therapists’ notes, and other personal documents. The book explores and illuminates the realities of a volunteer military asked to wage war in far-off and challenging lands. Thorpe has given us a fascinating – and essential – look at the human costs of America’s war on terror.
Soldier Girls (Simon & Schuster, $28), Helen Thorpe’s meticulously reported book about three women who join the Indiana National Guard in the decade before 9/11, brilliantly illuminates the human costs of America’s forays into far-off wars. Through her subjects, Thorpe, also the author of Just Like Us, explores the realities of a volunteer military, the modern role of the National Guard, and most importantly, what America’s most recent engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq have meant to the lives of women who, in growing numbers, are being deployed to help wage America’s war on terror. Thorpe interviewed her subjects over several years and had access to a trove of personal documents, from emails to therapists’ notes. Soldier Girls is a journalistic tour de force.