Military stories from past to present, both wars.

1001 Things To Love About Military Life

February 6th, 2012 Posted in The SandGram v1.0


I have a Guest buddy dropping some posts on the Sandgram, so here is “Fly-by the review guy” on a book he read recently…

1001 Things To Love About Military Life

When I first saw the title of this book, I immediately tried to see how many things I could think of to love about military life.  Believe me, there is a LOT to love about military life.  It was comforting to know that it took four authors to come up with the just-released Center Press book, “1001 Things to Love About Military Life.”   I don’t feel so bad coming short on my list!

The book follows a logical sequence in identifying the great things about military life, beginning with reasons to join.  These range from the obvious, like “the opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience that will change your life” to some that you probably never thought about like “finding out what you’re capable of.”  This is something I never contemplated until I graduated from SERE school.  Believe me, I learned a lot about myself sitting in that little wooden box for what felt like days at a time (actual times may vary).   But, come on, what’s not to love about blowing stuff up, jumping out of perfectly good planes, and shooting guns for free?!

“1001 Things to Love About Military Life” covers the entire gambit of military experience.  It includes the spouse, the family, military jargon, and even military traditions that I’m honestly going to miss when I leave the military myself. 

The quotes are invaluable.  One quote from Adlai E. Stevenson had me pondering what a spot on statement she had made: “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” 

However, some of the “things” will probably make a few troops a little uncomfortable, such as #787, “Feeling grateful when you see someone in the military; knowing they are heroes worthy of admiration and respect.”  Granted, this “thing” falls under the “Outside Looking In” chapter, but wearing the badge of “hero” is not exactly a comfortable title.

One of the best aspects of this book is the interactivity of it throughout.  It’s not just something you pick up and then read through a list of things that are awesome about military service.  Throughout the book, the authors have placed boxes where the reader is requested to answer some important questions about themselves or others. 

For example, the 306th “thing to love about military life” is “war-specific books and resources often cathartic in their shared experiences.”  It then goes on to list several books, but asks the reader to also name his or her favorite helpful books.  For me, Keni Thomas’s book, “Get It On!” instantly came to mind.  Another section geared towards military brats, asks for favorite memories as a military brat. 

So, who was this book written for?  In my opinion: everyone!  For those wanting to get an inside look at what troops do, deal with, or experience this is a perfect book that is easy to read.  For those in the military already, it reminds us what a truly great life we live, though often frustrating and difficult.  And if you’ve never had a friend or family member in the military, this book does an excellent job of laying out in a well-crafted and outlined manner “1001 Things to Love About Military Life.”

Fly-by the Review Guy

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