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Gaunky book cover

While fewer Americans today have relatives or friends serving in the Armed Forces, a La Crosse man and his three brothers all have served.

The youngest, Alex Gaunky, was killed in Iraq at the age of 19 — a shocking enough event in itself without the fact that another brother, Donleigh, was given the rare assignment of accompanying Alex’s body home.

Donleigh chronicles the trek and the emotions it stirred in his book, “The Hardest Journey Home — A True Story of Loss and Duty During the Iraq War.” The publication date will be Saturday, Veterans Day.

“Every American should read this and learn what ‘thank you for your service’ really means,” retired Army Gen. Carter F. Ham writes on the cover of the book, also noting, “Donleigh Gaunky offers a heart-rending glimpse into his family.”

Donleigh Gaunky reflects on his brother, his family and that tough journey home in an interview to be published in Saturday’s La Crosse Tribune.

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Reporter

Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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