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Download Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives Audiobook, by Jim Sheeler Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.39 out of 54.39 out of 54.39 out of 54.39 out of 54.39 out of 5 4.39 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jim Sheeler Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9781429592277
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They are the troops that nobody wants to see, carrying a message that no military family ever wants to hear. Since the start of the war in Iraq, marines like Major Steve Beck found themselves charged with a mission they never asked for and one for which there can be no training: casualty notification. In Final Salute, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jim Sheeler weaves together the stories of the fallen, the broken homes they have left behind, and one man’s effort to help heal the wounds of those left grieving. But it is not a book about war, politics, or liberal vs. conservative. Achingly beautiful and honest, it is a book that every American—every human—can embrace.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 2/14/2014

    " Well, based on the content of the book, I would give it 5 stars, but based on the way it was written 3 stars. The way the book was organized made it hard to follow the story of each fallen soldier. I wish the sections had been split up by person instead of jumping around. This was definitely an emotional read and a story that needed to be told. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gerri | 1/28/2014

    " a really great book--but i seriously cried the whole time i was reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 1/26/2014

    " An intimate and moving glance into the mission most of never experience. I was saddened by the individual experiences and uplifted by his love and dedication. It is true, we love those we serve. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 12/27/2013

    " Very enlightening on the process of the notification officers but very,very sad. Get your kleenex ready... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 12/26/2013

    " This was a very good book. I enjoyed reading about the "unfinished lives" of those profiled in this book. It's so sad that all too often lives are ended far too soon. Whether you support the war or not, this book is a great reminder of how much so many sacrifice for others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessie | 12/16/2013

    " Loved this! Wonderful insight into what these military families are going through. I really feel for this generation of military children who will grow up with out one of their parents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethann Guevara | 12/13/2013

    " My youngest brother is a US Marine, and I read this book earlier this year, just before I learned he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan. The author follows a Marine officer whose job it is to make that horrible, dreaded knock on the door to notify a family of their Marine's death; he chronicles the officer's involvement in that family's life, as well as paying tribute to their fallen Marine. It's very well done; touching without sounding hollow in the least. I read it with tears running down my face for a good two-thirds of the book. I've since passed it on to another brother of mine and would highly recommend it to everyone who says they support our troops. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lidia | 11/25/2013

    " I bought the book this morning and cannot put it down. As I write this I can't stop crying. Incredibly powerful book, I recommend everyone read it, this is the reality! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 10/24/2013

    " One of the toughtst books to get through that I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 3/29/2013

    " A very moving book, but it felt a little disjointed. I think the article that Jim Sheeler wrote for the Rocky Mountain News was much more powerful, so the book pales in comparison. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Downs | 12/17/2012

    " An incredibly moving tribute to the fallen men and women of our nation... gives a different perspective on the men and women that escort the bodies of fallen soldiers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miguel | 12/7/2012

    " A powerful book that will do a few things for you depending on who you are and where you have been in life. For me, it reminded me that serving for 25years active duty was nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice our servicemen have given in Iraq, aphganistan, Vietnam, "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lou Cordero | 11/10/2012

    " It was very difficult to listen to because of the emotional, heart-wrenching stories. It is criminal what is done to these families. Major Beck is a saint and is doing a wonderful thing for these families. Everyone needs to know this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 9/14/2012

    " It doesn't matter how you feel about war, this book gives us a view into the price families pay and how some soliders have reached out to those families. Really a moving perspective on war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arianna | 4/30/2012

    " This book took me a while to read because every chapter brought fresh tears and deep insight. Sheeler does an incredible job at respectfully weaving journalism with storytelling, telling the truth and never being too political. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 8/11/2011

    " There are no words that I can say that can do this book justice. I cried, I laughed and I was extremely proud and angry throughout the book. This is an amazing book and in my opinion one that everyone should read no matter what you think about this war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bea Lathrop | 6/19/2011

    " This should be required reading for everyone. The people in this book should not be forgotten. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nina | 2/3/2011

    " Everyone should read this book. EVERYONE. Especially the people who have any say in whether we go to war or not. I cried my way through it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 11/20/2010

    " One of the best books I have ever read. As a military wife, I live in fear of getting the knock on my door. I cried buckets of tears reading this book. Everyone should read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Idiosyncratic | 9/18/2010

    " I tried to read this, but couldn't. If you've ever lost someone close to you in a tragic and unexpected way, this book cuts too close to the bone; you already know what happens when the stranger arrives with terrible news. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne | 4/20/2010

    " Every American should read this book. It is amazing and touches your soul. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 1/7/2010

    " Superb book about bringing home and honoring our war dead-our heroes. This book will make you cry so many times. A must read for every American to accompany the TV footage we can now see from Dover AFB. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 2/10/2009

    " A Real Eyeopener! I have learned how the families of the soliders killed in Iraq is notified and how only a few of the families are truly assisted with the arrangements, etc. by the military. "

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About the Author

Jim Sheeler won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for the story in the Rocky Mountain News that led to Final Salute. He previously authored the book Obit based on his narrative obituaries of everyday people. He has also contributed to Best Newspaper Writing 2006-2007 and Life on the Death Beat. Sheeler has won numerous national writing awards and has served as a featured guest speaker for military and journalism organizations. Born in Houston, Texas, he has a degree in journalism from Colorado State University and an MA in journalism from the University of Colorado, where he now teaches. He lives with his wife and son in Boulder.

About the Narrator

Mark Deakins is an actor whose television appearances include Head Case, Star Trek: Voyager, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His film credits include Intervention, Star Trek: Insurrection, and The Devil’s Advocate. He recently wrote, directed, and produced the short film The Smith Interviews.