flight from the advancing Russian army, Nazi legions pour into
Kamien-Koszyrski, Poland, in November 1943. The Nazi troops invade the town in
a frenzy, routing townspeople from their homes and loading them onto
horse-drawn wagons – the first step in what will become a nightmare journey to
a German labor camp.
Tadeusz Gaweda, his parents, and seven brothers and sisters pile into a wagon
with blankets, the clothes on their backs, and a few personal items. Fierce
Ukrainian partisans twice ambush the convoy, killing indiscriminately.
his family are rescued by advancing American GIs who liberated the camp. The
soldier saviors become Tadeusz’s heroes, and by the time he emigrates to the
United States in 1949, his dream is to join the United States Army.
As he rises
rapidly in rank, medals, citations, badges, and other decorations cover the
front of his uniform. In 1984 Gaweda reaches the pinnacle of his career when he
becomes command sergeant major of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the top enlisted
man among 84,000 soldiers.
Gaweda has put in print a clear picture of himself as a kid who had a
dream..." -- Command Sergeant Major Kenneth Merritt, U.S. Army (Ret.)
patriotic message about the life of `The Greatest Soldier I Ever Knew' should
be required reading...” -- Major General Claude T. Ivey, U.S. Army (Ret.)
is an inspiration to everyone who must accomplish the mission and take care of
soldiers.” -- Colonel Timothy A. Scully, U.S. Army
268 pages, Tadeusz Gaweda]