The Good Captain: A Personal Memoir of America at War
In an account that spans over half a century, crossing generations and political and societal divides, R.D. Hooker, Jr. unveils his life story. As a child, he witnesses his father’s transformation upon returning from Vietnam. Enlisting remains, at best, a distant thought, until he realizes it’s his best option. He signs on as an airborne infantryman with the condition he’ll be assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In October 1975, America is at peace, free from the crucible of war. Over the next three tumultuous decades, Hooker serves gallantly, rising to the heights of the military chain of command while protecting some of America’s greatest.
This is a phenomenal book. Hooker’s grit, determination, and courage in defending the country as well as his men is remarkable. He invites readers on his journey, allowing them to view, through a microscopic lens, his encounters at West Point, Panama, Grenada, Somalia, the White House and National Security Council, Rwanda, and the Middle East, even giving them a glimpse into the military ventures of his sons. In reflection, he writes: “I have come to believe that we fight too much, and win too little, with the costs of war falling only on a narrow slice of our society.”
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