Book: Thank You For Your Service
Author: David Finkel
1. What made me want to read this book?
I have always wondered at how people can sign up for combat-what were they thinking? How were they feeling as they signed that paper? I can understand a person’s feeling of pride for his country and the drive to fight for his or her country, but I can’t fathom what it’s like to actually sign those papers, begin boot camp, and be deployed. What happens when their tour is over? How do they adjust? I’m hoping this book will shed some light on these mysteries.
2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?
The most disturbing passage of the book was in Chapter 9, which told the story of a man who worked with soldiers who need help with their mental health problems, such as suicidal tendencies. This was a disturbing story because the man who helps these soldiers overcome their issues was contemplating his own suicide and nearly killed himself!
3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?
This book has shown me what life is like for some soldiers after the war. Many are mentally scarred and have deep issues. Many are afraid to ask for help and even when they do, sometimes they are rejected from programs, and other times there is not enough space to include them in a program. I have never known anyone who has been in combat, but this book gave me an awesome insight into the after effects of war. I also learned of the financial struggle faced by many veterans. Many of the families featured in the book were struggling with bills, child expenses, and mortgage payments. I am saddened to hear of this and even more disturbed that I had not heard or thought about these issues before.
4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?
I have always thought that we, as a nation, were doing well in addressing the challenges faced by soldiers, but I know now that we are not. There is much work to be done in the area of veterans’ services, especially for mental health and helping soldiers find jobs once they return home.
5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?
This book is an easy read and is written from the viewpoint of a visitor looking in at the lives of the men and women featured. Somehow, all the stories are related and intertwine. The content can sometimes be disturbing, but that is only because the author does not shy from presenting the truth of the many situations recounted.
The next book I will be reading is Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country by Benoit Denizet-Lewis
Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!
Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!