During the mid-90s, while escaping from the Montana winters to Arizona in our recreational vehicle, I would sit outside at the picnic table with my favorite drink thinking about the life I once lived and enjoying the life I now had as a small-time cattle rancher. Eventually I began to compile a series of computer files containing memories from my career—something for my children to read that would give them some idea as to what I was doing while gone from home during much of their formative years. There never was any intention, or even the slightest thought, of this endeavor ever becoming a book for others outside my immediate family to read. It was simply a mishmash of notes containing events, people, and places from my thirty-five and one-half years as a United States Marine.
As the number of files grew, I happened to mention this pastime to a few fellow Marines who came up with the idea that I should merge them into a logical sequence that could someday become a book. I liked the idea, but was still set on this being something personal for my children and grandchildren to read when I was gone.
I am by no means a prolific writer. In fact, I am not a very good writer at all. I grew up learning how to write “Marine”; that is, straight forward and to the point, leaving out the flowery adjectives.
By 2007, the number of these small computer files—snippets of my life as a Marine—grew to something far beyond my intention. Finally, a dear friend and Marine brother—who happened to be a prolific and gifted writer—encouraged me to put them into some logical sequence and combine those with correlation. He even suggested I send him some of them for a look-see. At that point the book took on a life of its own that lasted four and one-half years and consumed both his and my every waking moment. For an interesting peek at the process, you need to read “About the Editor.”
I decided early on to eliminate my personal life, and keep the book professionally oriented. Therefore, I ask the reader to keep in mind that while reading about my Marine trials and tribulations, understand there was at times some personal turmoil going on behind the scenes for my personal life was not always a success.
Any book about military life has to contain abbreviations, acronyms, and military jargon. While my editor and I feverishly tried to eliminate as much of this gobbledygook as possible, unfortunately, some had to be used. Therefore, there is a short glossary in the back of the book that will assist those unfamiliar with common terms we frequently use. Might I suggest a quick scan of these terms before reading the book? Additionally, there is also a list of abbreviations and acronyms that will assist the reader.
Moreover, this book is not about boy scouts; it’s about Marines who oftentimes express themselves using rather colorful and risqué language. While I attempted to tone it down as much as possible, there are a few scenes that absolutely required it.
If your interest has been piqued take a look inside the book by clicking on the “Peek Inside”link. There you will find an excerpt or two from the book, as well as a full list of the chapters. If by then you are convinced it is a book for you, or perhaps you know a Marine to whom it would make a great gift, click on the “Buy The Book” link. I will get your email, then contact you to get information to personally inscribe the book. I sell only the hardcover, but for far less than anywhere else, including Amazon, and I eat the postage. Semper Fi, Jim