Book Review · Embarrassing Confessions of a Marine Lieutenant

Reading another excellent book.
Reading another excellent book.

I met Donny at the Silkies Hike in Fayetteville, N. Car., 2020.  Great person.  Awesome book.  And I love Donny’s TV channel, VET Tv.

Recommend.  206 pages.  Recommend, although for a very niche audience – particularly those who enjoy dark humor, and who probably also read Duffel Blog, Terminal Lance, or have watched all of Generation Kill.

The book starts with a story about a massage parlor.  “Despite my impressively low standards (thanks to my ability to see beauty on a deep level), I still didn’t see any good looking locals, so I was starting to worry about the quality of the masseuses” (p. 24)!  Ha!  I laughed from beginning-to-end with this book.

Despite its irreverence, or perhaps because of it, Donny brings to light critical issues within the veteran community.  The 22+ veteran suicides per day, the incredible frustration we face, and our loyalty vs. integrity conflict.

One of my favorite quotes describes the frustration of the veteran we place in harm’s way. “He’s angry at the Taliban, the Afghan people, the Afghan Gov’t, and the US Gov’t for throwing him into a minefield and tying his hands behind his back” (p. 106).

On loyalty, we routinely face a struggle between moral and legal.  I like to phrase it as a question.  If it causes more harm to follow the rules than to break them, what would a good man choose?  Donny answers, “So I disobeyed orders, I did what my conscience needed, what I thought all my little brothers deserved” (p. 107).

And like all good messages, the book ends with a call to action.  Donny calls for commanders to more actively connect those who’ve endured behavioral challenges to those who’ve suffered similarly.