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Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps Hardcover – August 27, 2002
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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The story of a young man having a growth experience by joining the military is a classic scenario, and John Schaeffer does justice to his take on it in his account of personal transformation from high-school graduate to U.S. Marines corporal. Interspersed with his narrative are his father Frank's remarks on the rest of the family's incidental affiliation with and new perspective on the marines in particular and the military in general. They brought to the encounter the ignorance and prejudice against the military that too often accompanies their status as members of the college-educated white middle class, from which, in fact, precious few of America's servicemen come. But in the end, Frank expresses open pride in having sent one of "the best ye breed" to the corps before September 11. One of the better books of its kind, and likely to remain so. Roland Green
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"What the Schaeffers have done here is extraordinary! ... This is a timely, compelling, and important book!" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
It is a bit dated (enlisted in 1998, but published in 2003), but the book covers what happens when a non-military family (Dad Frank is an author and academic) has an energetic smart son with a sense of duty and a yearn to serve (son John enlisted as a Marine).
The book covers the letters sent back and forth from father to son (and vice versa) during Marine Basic Training.
It is filled with emotion, thoughts, feelings, and personal observations as the Dad reconciles and tries to understand his son's choice. And it is filled with emotion and visible maturity as the son matures from a high-school graduate to a US Marine. (As he returns, he learns that he has little in common with his previous high school buddies.)
This is "required reading" if you have a son or daughter in the Marines. It will help the parents cope and learn and understand. (And it is a great Primer for any young folks who are looking for some "Marine Action". This one tells it like it is - with little polish and glory.
Both Father and Son end up learning more about each other. And in the end it reinforces their love for each other - and the Son's newfound respect as he becomes a Man. (But not just "any man" - a United States Marine. A very special breed.)
He and his father share a strong bond, so I thought he might like this book. Seems like he really liked it.
The author provides excellent perspectives of how a young person's decision affects the parents, friends, and other family; also provides some real insight into today's military, as well as shows how a young person matures during training.
I bought another copy for a friend who is terrified and heartsick that her son wants to join the Corps, right out of High School.
My own Mother went through this when I enlisted during the Korean War, and my younger son was a Marine in Somalia, among other places.
Once a Marine, always a Marine.
The author tells it like it is... Definitely worth reading.