It's January 1954. A truce has halted the combat in Korea
Nonetheless, the cold war continues. Thousands of young men are
being conscripted into the U.S. Army. As citizen soldiers they're
not happy with this. However, as each recognizes the nation's need
for his service, each accepts his two year enlistment with loss of
liberty as a necessary evil to be tolerated by him for the good of
our country. Gus Stern is one such citizen soldier. He has an
intelligent mind and a keen sense of humor. Through his eyes we see
both the virtues and vices of military service. Gus prizes the
camaraderie he meets with in his fellow G.I.s. He also enjoys the
blessings of confidence and courage which he receives in overcoming
his fear when he becomes a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne
Division. What he dislikes in the Army is the arrogance, stupidity
and condescension of half-witted officers, his need to obey their
every order or face imprisonment, and the loneliness of living life
in the barracks much as would a monk deprived of the company of
women. Surprisingly, 2/3rds of the way through Gus's enlistment and
this book, Arlene Vander Meer, the girl of our hero's dreams, makes
her appearance. For full details of how their exciting courtship
fares, please read this book. You'll enjoy it, especially if you're
a veteran or someone close to one.
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