4 out of 4 stars
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Life is full of uncertainties. However, there is a weapon called hope, and this four-letter word can move mountains and even hills. War experiences are usually told from the soldier's perspective, but the author offers a fresh and unique spin on the same experience – by telling it from the author's perspective. This is the summary of Hope is a Weapon by John Kelling.
Rod Martin and Hope Martin's eldest son, Charlie Martin, was about to be deployed with 4000 soldiers from the Iowa and Nebraska National Guard to fight the Taliban in the Middle East for nine months. This service to the country was not just about him; his family was involved. Hope was the tool belt they had. It is Rod's wife's name, but it stood for more. Will Charlie and the rest that were deployed for this mission make it back alive?
I must first admit that this book is a joy to read, and the author's ability to replicate consciousness into text is exceptional. Besides, the book is brutally honest, refreshing, and informative. I commend the real-life experiences and images in the book. The myriad of sacrifices of Iowans is admirable. The author also discusses the negative stereotypes surrounding the American military in the 70s, helping the readers to understand the glaring transformation. And the brief history of Massey Ferguson is also eye-opening.
I love how Hope is a Weapon was packed with realistic accounts of the war, yet without gory battle scenes. The author describes even the smallest details, such as sounds and emotions on the battlefield and the proper procedure for deploying troops. Also, the daily challenges of loneliness, sickness, and sleep during wartime were highlighted. I found it interesting that he explained the impacts of the internet in warfare and American military regimentation's general principles.
There is nothing I dislike about the book as it is professionally edited. Readers that enjoy unique war journals will love this book. However, there were a few minor grammatical and punctuation errors, but they did not affect my reading experience.
This is a fantastic book, and one can only be impressed by what the author has achieved with the elicit knowledge in this masterpiece. At the same time, it conveys invaluable lessons about the contrast difference between the military in the 1970s and now. It is a mental roller coaster that could change your entire perspective of the military. Therefore, I rate Hope is a Weapon by John Kelling 4 out 4 stars.
Hope is a Weapon
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