GI Jews by Deborah Dash Moore. (WWC) gave it to me. Relates the stories of Jewish GI's in WWII, mostly through oral histories with a dozen or so from different areas. Prior to WWII, the concept of ecumenicalism barely existed in the US, and even the concept of the US having a "Judeo-Christian" basis didn't exist. The US was viewed as Protestant, even if those other "weird" people (Catholics and Jews) were around. The military deliberately set out to create a sense of "we're all in this together," "we're a Judeo-Christian nation." That didn't sit well with everyone, but too bad, we had a war to fight. (Side note, compare current concerns with Moslems in the US military.) Jews served in numbers proportional to their representation in the US population. The general view of Jewish men was that they would not be good Soldiers/fighters: cerebral instead of physical, scrawny, unaggressive, not manly in the cliched, robust American sense. Much to the surprise of the military and themselves, they proved to be neither more nor less good Soldiers than anyone else. By so serving, they forged a new identity for themselves as "Americans and also Jews" (as opposed to Jews who happened to live in America), and helped forge concept of the US as "Judeo-Christian" and what today we'd call "multi-cultural." (Sorry for all the quote marks, rather needed.) They still faced prejudice, sometimes enormous amounts of it. Sometimes they overcame it, sometimes they didn't. By the time I got to the military, most of this was already established, but could still feel echoes of it: the "am I (are Jews) manly" in that sense?; are we really all one big family?; of negative reactions to me, how much was anti-Semitism? I'm proud of where the Army is in modern life. When I Commanded a NYC-based unit, I could say we were one of the most multi-cultural units in the Army… possibly in all of history. On the other hand, we were all one culture: we were all US Soldiers. "We all wear green, we all bleed red."
Combat Doctor by Marc Dauphin. He was an ER doctor and Canadian Army Reservist who mobilized to the NATO Role 3 Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan (then under Canadian Command, but multi-national staffing). He was appointed as Officer Commanding (As opposed to the Commanding Officer, which meant that he was in charge of day-to-day operations, not… oh heck, too confusing to explain, he was in charge of lots of stuff as well as actually treating patients himself.) This one evoked a lot of feelings. Some thinking about my time deployed, bringing back memories of what I'd seen. Some of that is a sense of pride in my service and an abstract camaraderie with others who've served. Some a longing to go back (have zero thoughts of actually doing so and leaving my family!). Some giving me feelings of inadequacy, in that the Role 3 was a major trauma center (possibly the busiest and most successful in the world at the time), and what I did and saw was small potatoes in comparison.