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Futile attempts to reconcile our actions in wars which proved to have little if nothing to do with defending our homeland or that of others fuel further doubts about whatever threads of moral authority we thought we once possessed or knew how to act on.


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Moral authority counts, as they taught us at Sandhurst. Soldiers naturally seek justification for their actions in the aftermath, when reflection is afforded. An obvious source for justification — as well as inspiring many to join the military — is the notion of acting on the "right side", being part of a broader effort to do some good. But try sustaining that narrative after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Might there be some solace of justification by considering damage limitation: But reducing justification to a numbers game, which happens in most of the media with embarrassing frequency, is sheer moral circumvention.

Aristotle argued moral virtue was a mid-point between two undesirable extremes, but I think he missed the fact of there being some absolute truths. Quantitative judgements don't apply. That's the dark truth: Be it one child, or one man stood by the corner of a building in al-Amarah pointing an RPG at my tank.

The rules of engagement supported my ordering the gunner to engage him with our 7. But you've got to wonder. He was stood there in the open while I was sat encased in 72 tonnes of armour. I forfeited the moral authority on that one a while back.

Regardless of numbers killed before, soldiers can feel morally bankrupt facing up to the tally they carry. Each death shames us, eroding our claim to a shared humanity — which isn't a concept that evaporates by joining the military. Soldiers and veterans are keenly aware of the ethical damage of war and which they've instigated, each in their own way.

Lonely Is the Soldier

Everyone reacts differently, but guilt and shame are hard to avoid. Sharing such feelings is immensely hard, as many fear being condemned and consequently feel exiled in society. Veterans assume an extra burden by trying to assimilate back into civilian life, which poses a particular moral challenge. Having recognised oneself to have been a voluntary party to violence and cruelty, one learns how desperately important it is to try to be good. But one is confronted by a civilian population full of petty selfishness, nastiness and ignorance, while patting you on the back for your service.

At the same time, you remember how, in a war zone where it was all going wrong and was based on lies, you had the most tangible relationships you've ever had: You're left just a tad frustrated and confused, as well as feeling trapped. The more time goes by since leaving the army, the more doubts occur about whether I ever did the right thing. I don't know whether you have to read these in order, but I read the prequel last. It didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story at all. Linc is regular army, but he is recruited for a special forces unit.

He mostly works undercover and gets involved in many global crises throughout his career. It's very interesting to see these events through Linc's eyes.

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But don't think it's all about one military campaign after another. Linc's personal life keeps pulling him back so that we get to know him as a man, not just a fighting machine. I really liked Treasure a lot, and as I read this one, I didn't think I would be able to choose a favorite between the two.

When I got to the end, Lonely is the Soldier became the clear winner. Now I have to read Treasure again.

Jeffry Hepple's Lonely is the Soldier is an outstanding saga that spans the career of a lone special forces soldier. The story follows R. While "Link" finds many successes in his military endeavors, he also encounters heartbreak and personal tragedy in his life away from the battlefields. As a fan of Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn, among other great authors in the genre, I can honestly say I now include Jeff Hepple in my personal top-5 list of favorite authors.


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  • This book is approximately 2. It's honestly a bargain at any price, and I highly recommend it. Very well written story focusing on the actions and experiences of the protagonist who fights terrorists around the world. Although the hero is handsome, rich,highly skilled with weapons and hand-to-hand combat, and beautiful women throw themselves at him, the author still portrays him in a believable manner.

    Plenty of action and good dialogue. A real page turner involving places and events that have been highly publicized. One person found this helpful. Great lead character but no man can do it all. Almost single-handedly resolved every SFOD event made public in past 30 years. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. Jeffry Hepple's latest novel, Lonely Is The Soldier, continues his time line of historical narratives, springing forward in time from his previous book, Home of the Brave, to the events prior to the beginning of his Treasure of La Malinche books.

    To this reviewer's mind, Lonely Is The Soldier is more of a precursor than a prequel in that it has little, really, to do with the story line of The Treasure of La Malinche. It does, however, introduce and relate the biography of one of the Treasure of La Malinche's more interesting characters, Robert Abraham Lincoln. Painstakingly researched and very well written, as we've come to expect from Mr. Hepple, the story of R. Army Ranger, Delta Force operative.

    Readers born before about will recognize many of the locales as they received prominent play in the news media at the time. A true page turner that will keep you up at night until the book is finished, the action is fast and totally engrossing; the escapades and escapes are hair raising.

    Lonely Is the Soldier by Jeffry S. Hepple

    Occasional quick jumps to Link's near past introduce the several acquaintances who figure in both this book and in the Treasure of La Malinche books. If you have already read Mr. Hepple's Treasure of La Malinche you will probably, like me, find yourself reaching for them to relive the experience. If you haven't read them yet, let me recommend them to you - they're well worth the reading time.

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