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2 Veterans Day book picks

Two very different war stories that both deserve your attention.

Writing about something as controversial as war is tricky, but two service members of the U.S. military get it absolutely right in these new releases, out just in time for Veterans Day. One providing insight on the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or one with a strong, personal narrative. Either way, you'll be hooked.

"Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account Of The Iraq And Afghanistan Wars" by Daniel P. Bolger

This new release (out Nov. 11) by three-star U.S. Army Lieutenant General Daniel P. Bolger is getting rave reviews for its brutal honestly and no-nonsense historical perspective. Bolger's 35 year military career has made him privy to meetings with the most important military decision-makers in the country, as well as key figures on the civilian side. He was present in meetings when big strategy decisions regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were made and he reveals exactly what went down behind closed doors.

Bolger details the specific threats Al Qaeda and other enemies presented as well as who the key commanders were and what played into the decisions they made. He also evaluates the performance of U.S. troops, as well as soldiers in the Iraqi and Afghan armies. Bolger isn't afraid to speak his mind about mistakes that have been made by himself and other key players in the U.S. military. But he's just as quick to commend the things the troops and their leaders have done right.

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The candor and authority of "Why We Lost" makes it a great pick to read this Veterans Day, while serving as a reminder of the challenges still faced by the troops overseas.

"The Last Rescue: How Faith and Love Saved a Navy SEAL Sniper" by Howard Wasdin

This memoir is about war, love and redemption. Navy SEAL sniper Howard Wasdin was fortunate enough to survive the firestorm made famous in "Black Hawk Down," but his return home to reality was a harsh one. "The Last Rescue" is about his tough transition to life after deployment, where he is not only forced to grapple with severe injuries and a long road back to recovery, but also face the fact that his marriage is failing.

It's understandable that the hardships in Wasdin's life begin to make him question his faith in God, and therefore his purpose in life. His memoir tells a powerful story of a man searching for faith and hope, while encountering a new, unexpected romance.

Wasdin is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book, "SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper." "The Last Rescue" is out now.

Follow Emily on Twitter:@EmLaurence

 
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