About The Book


"At its heart, this book is not about war. It is about courage, devotion, honor, resilience, and, of course, faith. It is about individuals who have encountered trials that rival the burdens of Job and have nevertheless persevered. Even if we are not in the military, every one of us wages smaller, more personal battles each day—against despair, sin, and doubt—and these letters are a powerful reminder that no matter how tough the contest, there is always reason for hope."

from Andrew Carroll’s Introduction to Grace Under Fire

The first book of its kind, Grace Under Fire is an inspiring and spiritual collection of letters and e-mails by U.S. troops and their families from the American Revolution through the War on Terrorism.

Andrew Carroll, editor of the bestselling War Letters, went through his massive archive of 75,000 previously unpublished wartime correspondence to pick out the most intimate, dramatic, historic, and insightful letters and e-mails ever written about God, religion, and spirituality. The fifty best of these are published in this incredible book, and they emphasize how extremely important faith has been, and continues to be, in the lives of U.S. troops and their families.

Grace Under Fire features a diverse selection of correspondence, including:

  • several extraordinary letters by two brothers who fought on opposing sides of the Civil War
  • a prophetic letter by Rabbi Alex Goode, one of the famed Immortal Chaplains who gave up his life for his fellow troops
  • a harrowing account by a soldier who miraculously survived being lost at sea after his ship was torpedoed
  • a lighthearted letter by a war nurse who had a memorable encounter with the Pope
  • an impassioned correspondence between a woman who wrote a “To Any Soldier” letter to a Marine fighting in Desert Storm—and ended up marrying him
  • the previously unpublished last e-mail home by NBC News reporter David Bloom
  • a profound and heartfelt reply to the timeless question, “Where is God in wartime?” written by an Army doctor serving in Iraq

Warfare can reveal the worst in human nature, but it can also bring out the best, and these correspondences are a testament to the heroism, compassion, grace, intelligence, and inherent goodness of American troops and their families. And although the letters and e-mails featured in this book were written in times of armed conflict, they transcend the subject of war. They are about determination, sacrifice, love, fighting for something greater than one’s self, and the enduring value of faith. All readers, regardless of whether they have served in the military or not, will find inspiration and courage in these powerful and illuminating words.

“For generations a letter from or to a loved one serving in uniform has been a lifeline back to the home front. Now, thanks to Andrew Carroll, we get a few small glimpses of those ‘connections of affection’—the ordinary insights, the humorous anecdotes, and the philosophical and spiritual musings of soldiers today and generations past. I found myself often stopping to ponder the lives of the men and the women who wrote these letters and the tremendous sacrifices some of them record. It’s a moving—and sobering—experience every American should undertake.”

Tom Neven, Marine Corps veteran and author of On the Frontline: A Personal Guidebook for the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Challenges of Military Life