Tuesday, December 07, 2010

On going to war

On 9/11, Nate Fick is on shore leave in Darwin. An Australian motorist gives him and a buddy a ride back to the USS Dubuque, the assault ship cum aircraft carrier that was to have been the Marines' floating home for a six-month deployment in the Pacific. They are to steam immediately for the Persian Gulf. Says the lieutenant, himself probably only twenty-two years old: "Looking at the Marines, I saw football stars and thugs and baby-faced eighteen-year-olds." These are the men he will lead into Afghanistan. (Or so I suppose. I haven't read that far yet.)

I've caught on to the title. One Bullet Away refers to the odd angry shot that could make Lieutenant Fick the Recon company commander--or, by the same token, could make his platoon sergeant his replacement as platoon leader. A convincing, thoughtful book. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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