IN SERVICE TO THEIR COUNTRY, CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL AND THE AMERICAN UNIFORMED SERVICES is Available Now
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."