Synopsis: "He went to war just days after his 18th birthday, not fully understanding what he was getting into. He was young, green, inexperienced. He didn't even shave. When he came back three years later, he had seen horrendous battle, lost countless buddies, and cheated death more than once.
They gave him medals. They called him a hero. But he didn't really understand why. All he knew was that he lived, and they didn't. Now he was back on American soil. He was 21 years old. He did shave now, but very carefully, around the scars.
It was time to choose a profession, they said. It was time to start living again, they said. It was time to forget, they said. But he couldn't. And who the hell were "they" anyway?
An aging veteran remembers what he did and why he did it. This love letter to America reaffirms everything good and positive about our county. From memories of growing up as a sheltered only child in a small Massachusetts city, to the rigors of basic training in a camp so horrible he foolishly petitioned to be reassigned, to building bridges for General Patton while all around him his buddies were being blown up, Dave Mann has never wavered in his love for the American flag and the country it represents.
What I Fought For is not a book about war, but a book about why soldiers fight, why they're proud to serve, and why this country will forever endure. It is an uplifting testament to the strength and spirit of America."
My Review: This is a very short book but I was honored to have met Mr. Mann at the Rhode Island Authors Convention. Like it says, this isn't a book about war, so if you are looking for some horrible tales of battles this is not the book for you. Instead it is more a book of coming of age, the struggles some veterans and military members face and what gets them through those times. The story itself isn't super well put together, some times it rambles, some times its gruff and terse, but it feels comfortable. I imagine it more of a grandfather remembering and giving lessons to his loved ones. I would love to hear Mr. Mann give a speech or record this as an audio book.
My Rating: While the book isn't long and it isn't entirely grammatically correct, it gets the message across and brings it all back around. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.