Academic journal article Military Review

Courage, Compassion, Marine

Academic journal article Military Review

Courage, Compassion, Marine

Article excerpt

COURAGE, COMPASSION, MARINE The Unique Story ofJimmie Dyess Perry Smith, iüniverse, Bloomington, Indiana, 2015, 220 pages

From start to finish, readers sense the pride and passion of the book's author, Maj. Gen. Perry W. Smith, U.S. Air Force, retired, who took ten years to research and write Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story ofJimmie Dyess. The story resonates with the author because Smith is married to Jimmie Dyess's daughter and only child. Together over the years, the Smiths have represented this American hero's extraordinary achievements at multiple and various events around the globe.

The book moves effectively in a chronology beginning with Jimmie Dyess's prewar years, progressing to the Carnegie Medal, the evolution of U.S. Marine Corps, the war in the Pacific, the 4th Marine Division and its role in Operation Flintlock, perspectives on the Medal of Honor and courage, and a litany of Dyess's honors and events. However, the book needs a more effective ending as Smith spends too much time discussing the anatomy of courage, which detracts from the book's strengths-Dyess and historical research.

As an Augustan, I reveled in the books description of "early Augusta"-the city, its citizens, and the attractions that made it the "before Florida" winter playground for wealthy northerners. Here, readers glimpse a young Jimmie Dyess who willingly risked his life to save two drowning strangers and who later would give his life to save marines on the twin islands of Roi Namur. The firsthand accounts by men who served, trained, and fought alongside Dyess capture the man who embodied the character and presence attributes of the Army Leadership Requirements Model.

Smith's book is not only a responsible and personal portrait of Dyess, but also a revealing historical account of the Marine Corps. …

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