By: John Henry Hardy
Publication Date: July 2015
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
In a world that now supports the men and women who serve this country, there was a time that those brave ones did not receive the respect they most definitely deserved. This is one story that puts the spotlight on this subject, drawing readers in with everything from its incredible scenery to its powerful plots and even more intriguing characters.
This story wraps around a trio of different personalities that come from very different worlds. The first we meet is Dion Murphy; he is about to become a college football hero. What Dion always wanted was to follow the rest of the males in his family and enter West Point. You see, the “Murphy” name appeared on every muster role of every war dating back to the American Revolution. Trouble is, he got turned down by West Point (a couple of times) and made a vow to his football coach at his current school, The Bryant Military Academy in Dallas, that he would give up the need to go to the Point and stay with the school and the football team. His oath means everything to him. One day, however, he finally gets accepted to the Point and decides not to go because of that oath. We learn all about his background, growing up and fishing in the swamplands…even the ‘attack’ by a creature of Mother Nature that took away his most precious mentor.
Next we meet up with a young woman by the name of Cathy Addison who is at the end of a harsh Minnesota winter. Cathy is about to graduate, which she is definitely happy about, but she has also gone through a horrific time with a man named Jeffrey who she loved and thought was the man of her dreams; a man who turned out to be nothing more than a cad. We learn about her background and that she, too, comes from a long line of people who served, even during the well-known battle at Gettysburg. She has a gift for helping the sick and the injured. Cathy is all about compassion, which will serve her well. It’s too bad that the person she loved most had no need for compassion whatsoever.
The last of the trio comes into play when we are introduced to Major Norman Coddington. He is a man who fights in the air. He is also a bit of a playboy who likes to fly fast and take chances. Currently in Puerto Rico, his backstory unfolds and we learn of his father, the law firm Norman was supposed to work in, and the fact that he is from quite a wealthy Boston family that, unfortunately, has far more love for their bank accounts and other financial assets than they do for each other.
Vietnam is on the near horizon, and these three people will be followed by readers as they go through glory, pain, and dangers that await them. They will each use the experiences during their early lives to help them survive and deal with this new war zone. The author will let us understand why Dion feels as if Old Glory is an old friend. We’ll watch young Cathy become Lieutenant Cathy Addison, RN, and see her journey through life place her directly in Dion’s path. We will race through the skies with Norman and, most importantly, we will root for them all.
The only thing that’s upsetting about this book is where it ends: you will want more. This is a highly powerful story with characters you love, and a few that you literally cannot stand. Because there are two more volumes to come, which are sure to be of the highest caliber, jumping aboard this train now is a must. The author is not only deserving of respect when it comes to his own years of service, but he deserves double for taking the time to write this unforgettable book.