Richmond, VA (PRWEB) February 11, 2014
On a Virginia hillside overlooking the Rappahannock River at Christchurch School sits a simple granite monument – a monument to honor the preparatory school’s faculty, staff and alumni who have served in the American uniformed services.
Retired Navy Capt. Alexander “Sandy” Monroe recently completed another monument – In Service to Their Country, Christchurch School and the American Uniformed Services.
The release of Monroe’s book marks the first time a full length non-fiction narrative account has been published on the history of the school, which boasts alumni and veterans like William Styron, famed American author, and U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr., a Pulitzer Prize winning author and son of Marine Lt. Gen. Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in American history.
“From its early years, and continuing still today, Christchurch has been home to men and women of diligence, accountability, and humble valor, often taking in struggling youths and cultivating in them the values and life skills they’ll need to make their way in the world,” Monroe said. “The path many graduates have chosen is one of service to country.”
Through a series of personal interviews and official military history, Monroe, who graduated from Christchurch School in 1960 and was commissioned into the U.S. Navy in 1964, set out to answer wherein lies the ineffable link between Christchurch School and the American uniformed services? What common vision guides the footfall of those who walk the brick halls of the school, and those who find their callings on U.S. ships, planes, and coastlines, and on distant bases and battlefields.
“This small school…has provided more than 325 men and women to the uniformed services of the United States, perhaps more than its fair share,” said William S. Dudley, the Director of Naval History from 1995 to 2004. “They excelled as leaders who had assimilated the concepts of honor, integrity and discipline by the time they graduated.”
The oral histories Monroe captured focus chiefly on members of the sea services-Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, but contain a significant number of distinguished veterans of other services. Certain photographs have never before been published.
“This is an inspiring book that illuminates the influence of education in our lives,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Henry J. “Jerry” Hendrix, the present Director of Naval History. “The students of Christchurch School received much more than education over the course of the years they attended; they received inspiration and a sense of the importance of national service and sacrifice for something greater than themselves.”
In Service to Their Country, Christchurch School and the American Uniformed Services is available to purchase through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Monroe will be available for interviews and book signing events.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ironically one of the outstanding graduates of Christchurch School that Retired Navy Capt. Alexander “Sandy” Monroe failed to document was himself, noted David F. Winkler, a retired Naval officer and accomplished author, in his endorsement of Monroe’s book.
“A naval officer with decades of service, Monroe in his efforts on behalf of the Naval History and Heritage Command, has been instrumental in assuring that hundreds of stories of American sailors serving at home and abroad have been preserved for future generations,” wrote Winkler.
Monroe is an honors graduate of Christchurch School who earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia and M.A. from the College of William and Mary. Monroe was commissioned into the U.S. Navy in 1964.
Monroe arrived on board the Naval Station Norfolk-based USS Aucilla, a Fleet Oiler, as Gunnery Officer and underway watch officer just after commissioning. He went on to serve in various commands with the U.S. Navy Reserve.
He deployed to the Arabian Gulf in 1988 during the tanker reflagging operation known as “Earnest Will,” where he completed a special assignment for the Director of Naval History, and also to the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1992 during humanitarian care operations involving Haitian migrants.
He is the author of official reports on humanitarian care for Haitians and on Department of Defense assistance to civilian law enforcement authorities in the “Drug War.”
As a civilian during his Reserve time, Monroe was employed as a member of the City Manager’s Staff in Richmond, Virginia and was also City Records Manager/Archivist.
Monroe is considering taking on the story of the 1961 hijacking of the SS Santa Maria, a Portuguese liner that had 42 Americans on board, for his next book.