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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Faith in the Fog of War Volume II

Faith in the Fog of War Volume II is written as a mixture of devotional and journal.

Chris Plekenpol was commander of the Apache Armor Company and his men played a key role assisting the 1st Marine Division in taking Fallujah in November 2004.

Now he is a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, where he will graduate next year with a Th.M.

Plekenpol startled me with his writing. I get a lot of books to review, a lot of Christian books. Most of them are quite fluffy--even the deep ones are not raw like this one. And if I read, I want something that's able to be real, exposed, transparent, and...well, raw is the best word I can come up with.

I read the first entry, cheered Plekenpol on for including the harsh wording of his fellow soldiers (though presented with underscores, ie: f----d) and read with interest this man's view of Iraq and watched him deftly apply the balm of God's love to the emotional experiences of war.

I handed the book to my husband Phil, Army Veteran tank gunner in the 3d Armored Calvary Regiment, Ft. Bliss Texas. He said:

"It was impressive how he took everyday happenings from the military and applied God's Word and it's reassuring to know in the hardest times, with people dying and the ungodliness surrounding a battlefield that it's possible to keep your faith and still encourage others."

Which is exactly what I thought.

I tried to be in the military, but they didn't want my fat bum, they said I was three pounds overweight. I kid you not. So I missed my chance to head to the middle east with my National Guard Unit for the first Gulf War and moved on to other things even as my heart broke. The good news is I met Phil because of Uncle Sam's rejection. My dad's a Vietnam Vet, my husband's a Vet, I can sympathize with soldiers. It's a hard life. Especially during wartime. And this book doesn't pull any punches.

This isn't just a book for those serving in the military. I'd recommend it first to soldiers and Vets and family members of those serving, then people like me who mourn the lost opportunity to serve as well as anyone who can put themselves into another's shoes. Plekenpol draws you in.

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