Hope and Honor

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Major General Sid Shachnow is more than a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran with two Silver and three Bronze Stars with V for Valor. He survived a crucible far crueler than the jungles of Vietnam: Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, spending three years in the notorious Kovno concentration camp as a child. At age ten, with nothing but rags on his back, he was finally able to flee that hellhole. Most of those he left behind died.

After returning to his home in Lithuania, now occupied by the Soviets, and finding it unbearable, Shachnow and his family decided to head west, often on foot, across Europe to the U.S. zone in Germany, where they found refuge. To earn a living in the grim aftermath of war, he smuggled black market contraband for American GIs. His next journey was to America, where he worked his way through school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, volunteering for U.S. Special Forces, where he served for thirty-two years. His primary goal was to save others from the indignities he had endured and the deadly fate he so narrowly escaped.

From Vietnam to the Middle East to the Berlin Wall, Sydney Shachnow served in Special Operations. He grew as Special Forces grew, receiving both a master's and a doctoral degree. He traveled the world, rising to major general, responsible for American Special Forces everywhere, but the lessons of Kovno stayed with him wherever he turned, wherever he soldiered.

Hope and Honor is a powerful and dramatic memoir that shows how the will to live---so painfully refined in the fires of that long-ago death camp---was forged, at last, into truth of soul and wisdom of the heart.

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Hope and honor

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A former commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Forces, Shachnow here recounts his life and career. As a child, Schachnow, along with his family, narrowly escaped death in a Nazi concentration ... Read full review


Part I
Part II
The Road to Treedom 19451955
Part III

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About the author (2004)

Major General Sid Shachnow was ten years old when he escaped the notorious Kovno concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Lithuania. He made his way across Europe where he made a living by smuggling contraband. He eventually came to America and enlisted in the U.S. Army, volunteering for U.S. Special Forces, where he served for thirty-two years. After serving in Vietnam and earning two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars with V for Valor, he rose to the status of major general in charge of all U.S. Special Forces. Since his retirement in 1994, he has traveled widely, consulting for the Pentagon on special operations in the world's trouble spots, notably in Korea. He is a much-sought-after public speaker, and instructs from time to time at military institutions such as the U.S. Army Command General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

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