Runt to Warrior
by Irvin L. Boring
Trafford Publishing

"This story is written with the intent of paying homage to 'the Infantry Company Scouts' who were lone operatives behind the enemy lines... I use my first hand experience only to demonstrate what it took 'to be one of them.'"

In his memoir, Lead Man, "Point," Irvin L. Boring recounts the first 18 years of his life, from a childhood of abject poverty in Pennsylvania, growing up anemic and sickly during the Great Depression, to serving with honor and distinction in the last days of World War II.

Runt to Warrior provides a detailed look at a bygone era, from one of the last to have lived it. Boring's accounts of his childhood illuminate what it’s like to be truly impoverished and just how far we have progressed as a society in the succeeding years. Whether it be eating "butter" that is really lard mixed with yellow food coloring, having his chronic bronchitis treated with cigarettes, or being forced by his father to euthanize pets and fight other boys to get "toughened up," the young Boring experienced hardships that would, one hopes, never be forced on a child today. Boring writes of his father: "He prepares me to overcome fear and shows me how to get the task done. I do not hate him for making me do these distasteful things, but I sure do hate doing the vile things he demands of me." However, Boring comes to appreciate his brutal early training when he finds himself in the final days of the Bulge in World War II. He thrives in the role of "Point" man, sent ahead of the company to handle any possible ambushes. His ability to control his fear while witnessing fire, death, and dismemberment earns him the respect and admiration of his peers and the unusual monicker for an eighteen-year-old private: "Mr. Lee."

Boring's accounts of his war experiences read like a diary, though they are drawn entirely from memory. His unusually vivid recollections make warfare come alive: "If you have never experienced the sound of the death scream… it is such a high pitched, shrill scream, that it shatters your nerves..." Boring is not a professional writer; however, the historical insight he provides, coupled with a natural storytelling ability, give this memoir great validity. Runt to Warrior is filled with the sounds, smells, and suffering of war by someone who went through it. It is an important firsthand record and a valuable resource for students of American military history.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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