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A Soldier's Journey Paperback – January 14, 2013
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A Soldier's Journey chronicles Graves' recollections without painting a graphic canvas of much of the ugliness that was later reported or documented in movies, but gives the reader a good sense of how frightening it was to be there, only feet away from enemy movement, with orders not to engage unless absolutely necessary. He also briefly covers one of the most devastating aspects--accidental death of one of our own by friendly fire.
I, personally, appreciated that most of Graves' chapter headings were accompanied by a variety of quotes from Scripture--words which no doubt sustained him during this tour of duty in Vietnam and beyond.
A quick read, I devoured this book in a short time on a Sunday afternoon, comfortably seated in my beach chair with a light, welcome breeze blowing through my hair. I believe that it provides a gentle overview of this particular individual's service journey and thank him for sharing his piece of the puzzle in our American history. I was relieved that the book was not a dissertation focusing on the atrocities aspect that so often accompanies Vietnam stories. We are aware that horrible, inhumane incidents occur in war, but do I want to read about it and visualize it? Not really.
I completely understand his sentiments of wishing he could have obtained his dad's World War II memories before it was too late, something that cannot be reversed or fixed because there is no rewind. I felt exactly the same way about my dad's war experiences because he was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed, and I never recorded his version of that event or his subsequent service on Guadalcanal and other locations--something I will forever regret.
Graves delivers a story that conveys the perpetual unease, what it is like to be facing potential death or dismemberment at any moment and the concealed emotional wounds from serving our country in a combat zone. God bless George Graves and all Vets for risking their lives to keep us free! We can't thank you enough.
We shared every thing in our youth from our Pall Malls to poker winnings so it was just natural he would have shared this part of his life with me. Now its out there for everyone.
On Saint Patrics day we met for a memorial service for a good friend who is mentioned in the book. Afterwards we sat till near midnight at a outdoor cafe.
There was a musician playing "Nawleans" sprituals. There are a lot of stories in a 55 year friendship,and George is a master of story telling.