I dove into this book expecting some combat action, but there were none. Thankfully there were none, because this book prevailed in many other aspects – anecdotes on growing up gay, a brother who committed suicide, and the many stories that entwined humor with pain and loss. It was a book that would make you laugh at one page and cry the next, that’s how good it was. Kevin Zalinsky isn’t a famous person, many won’t know about him nor his book. But in spite of all these ‘book world clichés’, I am so glad I stumbled upon this book. Two thumbs up. I’d read it again someday.
This is my second book written by Kevin Sites, who is also one of my favorite investigative journalists.
I read this a while back, so details are a tad blurry. However I do remember wishing that this book carried more diversity, e.g. women, LGBTQIA, and race. I felt that all the characters interviewed were all white men (okay, I think one had a Hispanic surname, I humbly apologize if that’s the case). I could be wrong, but at least that’s the impression I was left with.
When you look at how Americans complain that their vets aren’t given better treatment, you feel sorry for them because most of them don’t know just how much they have it better (odd sentence, can’t help it), compared to the rest of the world. So much better. Everything in this book is depressing, heartbreaking, and worse, traumatizing, because these vets are so young. Having to experience war and PTSD when their peers are in college? Backpacking around Europe? Unimaginable.
(I’m no military fanatic, but a good friend of mine is. He could certainly write a book dissecting vets from around the world, including WW1.)
This wasn’t an eye-opening read for me, as I’ve read other military biographies before which more or less carried similar notes. Nonetheless I did learn something new and important.
There is no way to stop them from getting married, having partners and children, and trying hard to lead normal lives, while unintentionally fucking up their role as a partner and parent. There’s no way.
But there is one way to help, and hopefully prevent more of these unseen war casualties and heroes from multiplying across the world (not a great choice of word I get it) –
Less greed, corruption,
No more wars.