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Publisher's Summary

Their Duty Is Sacred. Their Standard Is Perfection.

An extraordinary journey behind the scenes of Arlington National Cemetery, Senator Tom Cotton’s Sacred Duty offers an intimate and inspiring portrait of “The Old Guard”, the revered US Army unit whose mission is to honor our country’s fallen heroes on the most hallowed ground in America. 

Cotton was a platoon leader with the storied 3rd US Infantry Regiment - The Old Guard - between combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the height of the Iraq Surge, he carried the flag-draped remains of his fallen comrades off of airplanes at Dover Air Force Base, and he laid them to rest in Arlington’s famed Section 60, “the saddest acre in America.” He also performed hundreds of funerals for veterans of the Greatest Generation, as well as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. 

The Old Guard has embodied the ideals of honor and sacrifice across our nation’s history. America’s oldest active-duty regiment, dating back to 1784, The Old Guard conducts daily military-honor funerals on the 624 rolling acres of Arlington, where generations of American heroes rest. Its soldiers hold themselves to the standard of perfection in sweltering heat, frigid cold, and driving rain. Every funeral is a no-fail, zero-defect mission, whether honoring a legendary general or a humble private. 

In researching and writing the book, Cotton returned to Arlington and shadowed the regiment’s soldiers, from daily funerals to the state funeral of President George H. W. Bush to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, reliving the honor - and the challenges - of duty at the nation’s “most sacred shrine.” 

Part history of The Old Guard, part memoir of Cotton’s time at Arlington, part intimate profile of the today’s soldiers, Sacred Duty is an unforgettable testament to the timeless power of service and sacrifice to our nation. 

©2019 Tom Cotton (P)2019 HarperAudio

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  • Wayne
  • 2019-05-29

Terrific!

This book is a great way to learn more about the ceremonial history of the US and the US Army. Senator cotton does a great job.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Art Campbell
  • 2019-10-22

Excellent book

This is a treasure I will keep in my library. Will read again. I highly recommend it

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  • M. Miller
  • 2019-05-20

powerful and poignant. a must read!

A must read for any patriotic American left or right. An amazing documentary love letter to the Armys oldest and most visible unit. Read this and learn what they do for all Americans every day.

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  • Dwayne Barstad
  • 2020-09-19

A wonderful view of a cherished military tradition

I had visited Arlington many years ago and always thought the Guard a unique a important way of honoring our soldiers. Sacred Duty will give you the inside perspective and history of this great group and tradition.

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  • Tom Kavanaugh
  • 2020-04-30

Fantastic

An absolute must read for every American! This book truly honors those soldiers who Cary on the duty to honor soldiers.

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  • Special K -AZ
  • 2020-04-19

A Story Long Overdue

Senator Cotton has done a masterful job in explaining the debt that all citizens owe to the Old Guard

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  • Todd McDaniel
  • 2020-01-27

Great History and well read

I very much enjoyed this audible book. It was well written and I enjoyed Sen Cotton’s first hand knowledge of the subject. I have fond memories of visiting Arlington and have always been impressed by the professionalism of the soldiers and their dedication to their mission.

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  • Graham Paterson
  • 2020-01-18

Informative primer on the value excellence!

Easy to listen to as I kept learning of The Old Guard for the first time while being fascinated by vignettes from the lives of people who make me proud to be an American. I also now appreciate Tom Cotton in a very different way that causes me to to be deeply thankful for my fellow Americans who had the wisdom to elect him senator of my great country.

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  • Linda Morgan
  • 2019-10-08

it is a Sacred Duty

having grown up near ANC, having my grand parent interred there, and my son serving in the Navy Ceremonial Honor Guard made this an excellent read.

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  • bberry
  • 2019-07-08

Excellent account of the Old Guard

As an Honor Guard soldier, this brings back great memories. Truely an Honorable time for me.