We’re excited to announce that the latest addition to the SOFREP Books collection: A Way Forward, My Years in The Marine Corps, is now available for purchase on Amazon.
In this autobiographical memoir, Christian Dattwyler will take you on his journey from a humble, innocent childhood in the Westchester suburbs of New York City to his early high school years filled with introductions to drugs and hard drinking.
A Way Forward, My Years in The Marine Corps reveals how a Marine recruiter pulls out every old trick in the book to compel Christian to sign his life toward four years of government service. The memoir proceeds to delve into his mind and thoughts as he experiences hard as nails Marine recruit training at Parris Island, completes his ‘Grunt’ training, and is assigned to the Fleet Marine Force.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
“The Eighties was a transition period for our nation’s view of the military. The animosity and public rejection of Vietnam veterans had finally run its course. New movies such as Oliver Stone’s ‘Platoon’ had opened the eyes of a new generation to the brutal experience that Vietnam vets had to endure just because their country called on them, not whether the war was morally right or wrong.
The American public had a fresh love and respect for the Corps after 200+ Marines and Sailors were lost in the terrorist bombing of Beirut, Lebanon. Marines were caught in the crossfire of being in a no-win situation, called on to be ‘neutral’ peacekeepers in a deadly region of the world. The love and respect only increased for the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army Special Forces. This was due to a successful and quick mission ordered by President Reagan, code-named Operation Urgent Fury. The mission objective was the freeing of American students during the Cuban turmoil on the island of Grenada in 1983.
American patriotism was once again blossoming under our conservative President. Songs such as Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA.’, John Cougar’s ‘Pink Houses’, and James Brown’s ‘Living in America’ were the new patriotic anthems of the decade. In turn, I was proud to serve my country during this age. I was also humbled and honored by all those who recognized and saluted the beginning of my service.
As I connected back with my old burnout buddies from high school, I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be. It turned out that they were proud that they had a friend that passed the grueling test in becoming a U.S. Marine. They took me out to the local rock band bars and made sure to introduce me to the staff and regulars. I don’t remember ever having to pay for a drink because one was always given to me. This newfound ‘local celebrity’ status took me by surprise and was definitely not expected. In fact, I was expecting that the old crowd I used to hang with would have a difficult time accepting an old friend who was now ‘straightened out’.
I may have been clean off drugs, but my drinking was ever increasing. My father woke up one morning and found me passed out on the oily floor of his garage. My days and nights home were just consumed with drinking and partying after being cut-off from the world for thirteen weeks at Parris Island. Of course, my parents didn’t want to say anything about it. They were just proud that their son had transformed from a young street punk loser to a Marine.”
Through the ups and downs, A Way Forward, My Years In the Marine Corps tells the true story of how a young man with formerly zero ambitions, evolved to become one who strives to excel at all things that he does. Christian is not a loser, nor is he a hero or role model. He is just a regular guy who struggles early in life but finds a purpose within the United States Marine Corps.
The 1980s recollections and stories are not watered-down to make them more in line with today’s politically correct fare: They are honest, uncensored, and unvarnished accounts. They show that there is hope for any young man or woman that wants to achieve more for themselves out of lives that may feel are out of control or unmanageable.