They Were Heroes

A Sergeant Major's Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan
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Published:February 27, 2015

Sergeant Major Devaney’s They Were Heroes presents moving portraits of warriors who have not been fully celebrated. His stories recognize the heroism of those who fought in these deadly conflicts and placed their lives at risk to assure the safety of their fellow Marines. For these Marines, no Medal of Honor is enough for their bravery. Nonetheless, though not his main purpose, Devaney calls attention to the practice of awarding medals itself, that often these warriors received awards that were below what their deeds merited. No less disturbing is the revelation that medals were often awarded by rank, and not always by action. The lives presented in Devaney’s book call attention to the fact that many heroes of these deadly conflicts have gone unrecognized.

List Price: $34.95
Member Price: $27.96
Product Details
  • Subject: Iraq War
  • Hardback : 296 pages
  • Illustrations: 1 b/w photo
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (February 27, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1612517897
  • ISBN-13: 9781612517896
  • Product Dimensions: 5 X 8 in
  • Shipping Weight: 15.84 oz
  • "The author argues that the process for awarding medals is often arbitrary and sometimes simply unfair and lacking. There was nothing lacking about the courage and sacrifices of the Marines who fill the pages of this book. Each chapter covers a different Marine's action in clear prose. It is interesting reading for anyone who wants to understand what has been done on their behalf by warriors far from home."—Military Heritage
  • “This book is highly recommended to all. Devaney delivers a good reminder that we are a nation at war, and the price is the lives of those answering the Nation’s call. Additionally, Devaney’s contribution to recognizing and reminding us of our service members’ sacrifices is a great reason to read this book.”—Military Review
  • “Devaney’s extraordinary book is a lasting tribute to these unsung American heroes. Thanks to Devaney’s gripping work, the experiences of these 52 gallant warriors will now be preserved. Well done, Sergeant Major, well done, sir!”—Leatherneck
  • "This is an excellent book about men in combat. The book should stand the test of time and become one of the essential books concerning Marines in combat. I highly recommend purchasing and reading this book and then donating it to your local high school library."—Naval Historical Foundation
  • "Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, They Were Hereos is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. An impressive and highly recommended addition to academic, community and personal libraries."—Midwest Book Review Bookwatch

David K. Devaney joined the Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman in 1983. After two deployments overseas he was selected to the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) platoon for duty as a scout sniper. He deployed ten times with Marine Corps units and five times with Army Special Forces elements, serving as a sniper. He retired in 2014 as the Command Sergeant Major for Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, Virginia.

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