South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States | Member Since 2007
This is a sad story. It is NOT a "good read." That said, it is a wonderful book, beautifully written and beautifully read about real human experience. I am a female veteran and also made Captain. I was USAF and much too bored with the desk job to be challenged as Luis was in battle. I had a good mind and high personal standards, so I simply did what was in front of me. I had no illusions of a great career. My family was extremely dysfunctionsl -- unlike Luises wonderful people -- and I simply needed to get out of my dispiriting hometown!
I have no problem with complaints about the system! I am still waiting to hear about an ongoing case with the VA which was originally their fault; they garnished my Social Security disability payments to the tune of over $9,000. Incredibly, this case goes back to events occurring in the year 2000. Some irregularity in my EVR!!! Thousands of veterans are sitting on powerlessness and anger that erodes the quality of our lives every single day and every time we go to the mailbox. And I am still hoping to hear about a small pension I applied for months ago. I have waited in countless VA facilities where the ceiling seemed to lower several more inches every hour. I have met with veterans in support groups where I was the only woman and the only ex-officer. I always spoke up to say that these real warriors had all my respect. And I learned how a man can take hours to bathe, dress, iron the shirt, deal with tubes and prostheses and other hidden difficulties -- only to walk out the door looking like a very fine speciman! Oftentimes most of the difficulties are invisible. I held a little make-work therapeutic job at a VA medical library where people didn't talk to me or were unwelcoming and even insulting every day. When the intake woman for that program made a face as I was telling my story, I almost shouted, "Hey, lady, if I lived it, you can listen without making faces!" And that is how I feel about this story.
I am amazed that Luis can read his own story, referring to horrific and heart-breaking events. I would never fault his organization of the story. He majored in journalism! And I have listened recently to not-great dog stories that were more about the silly people than about the dogs. Luis describes Tuesday in every possible way. As for living in NYC, I was in San Francisco for 30 years and well remember bus trips when I had a broken foot or was ill. I still wonder why the 38 Geary bus that went to Fort Miley VA medical facility was the slow one and why most of the various routes of the 38 didn't actually go up the hill. I remember a veteran buddy who had worse migraines than I did and practically lived on that bus (45 minutes out and 45 back) to go get more Imitrex because the VA wouldn't give him even a week's supply. No, Luis is telling it like it is. And being an officer and trying to make a difference continues after discharge. I found myself in the Glide Memorial Church food line one weeknight when I was not making ends meet. The line was long and I chatted up the clean-cut very young white man in front of me. He was homeless, living on the street, ashamed, and without direction. He had had a commanding officer who had a three strikes rule and to hell with whoever it hurt! The man was unable to visit his dying mother and took to some amount of drink. So he was tossed out on his ear. I urged him to find the Vet Center and apply for a reversal of his discharge and get help as he still looked clean and healthy.
This book did bring up my own frustrations for me. It may have that effect for other vets. I had prayed that our activity in the Middle East would be elegantly impersonal, respecting the different culture and religion. But, oh, no, we are corrupt as well. This is disappointing. Animals have been my own saving; I volunteer at the only wild bear rehab center in California, picking up poop, cleaning and laying down fresh food, never interacting because these precious critters have to remain wild and be returned to the wild. When people are almost impossible to love, there remain the animals like Tuesday. God bless!
Somehow I had expected this would be simply Tom Paine's writing, not a whole book about him. History, philosophy and politics are not my strengths, but I've lived long enough and traveled enough that I do care about these things. I found another audio book on the same topics, Founding Brothers, very difficult listening, although I believed it was well narrated. This book by contrast is almost suspenseful. The narrator reads with great understanding, but the book is written so as to be interesting. This author has an exciting mind!
Back in high school I didn't really get it about the deists. And who cared about the Louisiana Purchase? Paine was already trying to solve the problem of slavery, develop a plan for freed slaves. Paine even foresaw a need for a welfare system. Well, goodness! It's a most stimulating book. Educational, exciting, most worthwhile.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.