The Complexity of a Soldier by Michelle Bellon

The Complexity of a SoldierReviewed by Cy Hilterman

The title of this excellent book tells a lot about the book and its many stories of civilian and military members and families and just how difficult it is to serve in the military, especially in times of war. Rory had married Emily and they introduced Callie into the world and into their lives. Rory had worked on his family farm for years and he finally broke away and took a job in a mill figuring he would like the work better and the hours would allow him better home life. When Rory received his “pink slip” from the mill he was devastated. Rory had always wanted to be a police officer so he applied for the state police school but he changed his mind and decided he would join the army and become a Military Police officer. Of course Emily was upset knowing he would be away for quite a while doing his basic training. It was still peacetime so there was no worry in their minds of going to active battle but that came into the picture. The story takes you back explaining when Rory was younger and the various things that went on at their farm including Rory, his brother, Rodney, his parents, and some other friends.

While in his training, Rory met J T and they became inseparable friends through basic and after, both becoming MP’s. J T even came home with Rory and joined many discussions down memory lane from the families’ youth through high school and things that happened after graduation. Rory and J T graduated from the army MP school and were elated when they were both assigned to Washington, DC. Then September 11, 2001 came and the entire nation was sickened with the terrorism attacks on our nation. This defiant action changed the plans of so many in the entire world, and, in Rory and JT’s situation, it sent them into war. They arrived and were both stationed near Bagdad as members of the military security team but they were also given other assignments in Iraq. Rory had a terrible time adjusting without his girls but he was “stuck” after volunteering for the military not knowing that war would break out while he was on active duty.

Patrolling the streets of various Iraqi cities was very dangerous. No one knew when a bomb, an RPG, or some other weapon would be in their midst either thrown or one that had been buried to cause destruction and death. Every person, regardless of age, was a suspect. A smile did not always mean friendship. Even though our military did all they could to make friends, especially with the children, there was no safety anywhere. After their year tour of duty was over, they returned home with a completely different mentality than when they had left for Iraq. The jarring that war caused our military to go through changed them both mentally and physically. Their families back home did not know what to expect when greeting them at the airport and when they took them home. J T had met Abby before he left for Iraq so he had someone to love when he got home too.

There is much more to this very good story but I will not give any more of it away so you can enjoy the book. You will definitely enjoy the story. It contains love, relationships, mystery, suicides, humor, and much more. Give it a whirl.

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

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