All YPL locations will be closed Sunday, Feb. 12 & Monday, Feb. 13 in observance of Lincoln’s Birthday and Sunday, Feb. 19 & Monday, Feb. 20 in observance of Washington’s Birthday.

Podcast Review: Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor is about Medal of Honor recipients from the Civil War to the present day. The host is Ken Harbaugh, who was a former Navy pilot and politician. Harbaugh tells the stories of service members who have distinguished themselves through an act of valor. Each episode has a concise description of each service member’s action and why they earned the Medal of Honor. Those with an interest in history will be fascinated by this podcast. 

Each Monday a new episode is uploaded. The latest episode is about John Balch. Balch served as a Pharmacist First Mate (medic) with the Marines during World War I. When under fire, he treated wounded for 16 hours straight while engaged at Vierzy, France. Two months later, Balch treated Marines while under heavy fire at Somme-Py. His heroism on both occasions earned him the Medal of Honor in 1919.

The next episode I listened to was about Alonzo Cushing. Cushing was a first lieutenant during the American Civil War. He fought in several engagements during the war until he met his fate at the Battle of Gettysburg. He commandeered a battery during Picket’s Charge. Though badly wounded and under heavy fire, he directed artillery against advancing Confederates until he was killed in action. There is a monument to Cushing on the battlefield.

I listened to the episode about Randy Shugart after reading about him in Black Hawk Down and watching the movie that was based on the book. Shugart was a Delta Force sniper during Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia. After seeing two black hawk helicopters shot down, Shugart and Gordon (another Delta force sniper), volunteered to defend the second crash site against an advancing mob. Though outnumbered, Shugart and Gordon fought fearlessly but in doing so were killed in action. Shugart was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 1994.

Each episode of Medal of Honor is as interesting as the one before it. The stories of bravery of the service members will amaze listeners. Episodes are under five minutes but you learn a lot from them. Harbugh provides concise summaries that are filled with stunning facts. I highly recommend Medal of Honor to military buffs and those interested in American history. Those who are visiting a battlefield like Gettysburg may also want to listen to a episode that corresponds to where you are touring.

You can listen to Medal of Honor on the podcast website or apps such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Michael Walsh

Adult Services-Will Library