2 out of 4 stars
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In 1967, the US military constructed a ten-foot-high chainlink fence along the southern boundary of the Demilitarized Zone at the North/South Korean border. Topped with concertina wire and surrounded by mines, foxholes, and observation towers, this area was known as "The Line." American troops were placed along "The Line" to protect the Korean people from Communist infiltrators. For decades, these soldiers were left out of the history books and ignored by the media and American people. Many tried to avoid the draft. Many gladly served with honor. This book tells the stories of all the different men on "The Line."
Unremembered Victory, by Dennis H. Klein, mainly follows Daniel Schikevitz. Schikevitz, a US Army Combat Engineer Officer, started his 21-month tour doing the dangerous, somewhat ludicrous tasks and finished by constructing one of the finest military TOCs capable of withstanding a nuclear blast. With Daniel, we meet men he served with and gain perspective on their beliefs and day-to-day lives.
Unremembered Victory is, in essence, a dramatized memoir with a fantastic message of patriotism. It shows the importance of the work of the 4,000 GIs and their resilience in the face of the American people's negative attitude towards them. The idea that ordinary, regular people are more than enough is proven correct many times. Inspiration like this is what America needs right now. Along with this message are stories of heroism, harsh reality, and even a few funny moments provided by jokes told by Bob Hope during his USO tours. Those are the positives from the book.
Unfortunately, there are some jarring negatives. I was astonished to find 186 grammatical errors in a book available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. I've never considered myself a Grammar Nazi, but I couldn't help but get a little angry when I couldn't advance more than a paragraph or page without finding another or multiple errors. Not only is that amount of errors unacceptable, but it is also extremely distracting from the story. I often found myself staring at the page to figure out what I had just read. Another issue is the use of metaphors that are not easily understood. Even after telling the whole background story behind an action made towards a Jew, the author fails to convey whether the attitude is positive or negative. Lastly, there is some fluff in the book that, if edited out, would make the read far more enjoyable and less laborious.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars: for egregious grammatical errors and a less-than-mediocre reading experience. While the message and core of the story are very worthwhile and inspiring, the fluff surrounding it devalues the whole product. I have the utmost respect for the men and women who have selflessly served this great country, but I think that in regards to this book, the 4,000 deserved better.
I passingly recommend this book to other history buffs and Veterans. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under eighteen, as there are 151 instances of profanity, some sexual content, and rather descriptive violence.
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