Jack Lewis offers an unexpectedly vulnerable glimpse into one of the timeless tests men have faced: going to war, and returning home. While the veteran will find honesty and truth within, this book brings a fresh insight to anyone interested in what it is we ask of our soldiers.
Early stories give an authentic and often funny glimpse of military life, building to a crisis of self all too common among returning soldiers.
Exploring the universal human question of how we move through our lives, acknowledging mortality and pain without becoming lost within it, Jack shares with us his own journey toward elusive redemption.
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About the Author
In 2006, Jack contributed two chapters to Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front (ed. Andrew Carroll, Random House 2006), and participated in two documentary films based on that book including Richard Robbins's Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience. Those writings stemmed from his service leading a tactical psychological operations team in NW Iraq during 2004-2005.
Editorial writing earlier in Jack's career resulted in the D.B. Houston Journalism Prize, SPJ Editorial Writing honors, Best of the Palouse citation, and WSU Philosophy Club Gadfly of the Year.
Between spasms of frenzied writing activity, Jack has worked as a busboy, geriatric nursing aide, soldier, production assistant, telecommunications circuit designer, soda jerk, computer technician, hotel manager, farm hand, editor, hardware store clerk for the coolest hardware store in Seattle, and motorcycle service writer.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nothing in Reserve: true stories, not war stories.Jack LewisLitsam Press (2011), Paperback, 310 pagesI would be somewhat disingenuous if I said I'd cheerfully read anything Jack Lewis writes; I suspect his grocery lists are as mundane as yours and mine. Short of that, however, I have yet to read something by him that failed to make an impression. Nothing in Reserve is both a highly personal and broadly engaging account of how Jack ended up in Iraq within spitting distance of his 40th birthday, when he thought he'd finished his Army hitch about 20 years before. He shares the things that go on and on and on but won't ever make the CNN 3-minute clips back home. He introduces us to the colorful cast of characters who share this deployment and relates funny things, tragic things and everyday things that are part of Army life. He creates rich and evocative word pictures that let even someone without military experience viscerally understand where he's been, and for someone who's been there's a sense of ¿Yep, I can relate to that¿.The transition back to civilian life is easily as poignant. There is no instant 'Home' switch ¿ post-deployment is tough enough that there are whole sections in the military devoted to making the transition smoother. Everyday actions that most of us do without a second thought are very much against the conditioned nature of our returning troops. Getting back into civilized humanity is a full-time job. Jack shares that with us as well, helped along the way by his Pretty Wife and his Tucker-pup. I look forward to seeing more of his adventures for a very long time.
...one for yourself and one to lend. Why? Because you probably won't get it back. I have owned this book for quite a while now, and read it several times. Some readings take days, because you feel the need to stop and process what has been written, what part of his life Jack Lewis has laid bare for all to see. I had hesitated to write a review. Not because of the book, but because I doubted I could find the right words to do it justice. Mr. Lewis paints a vivid picture with his writing, one that makes you feel as if you were right behind him, looking over his shoulder; as if you were experiencing the events yourself. This is one book that should be required reading if you are an analyst/commentator and have never tasted the "sand" in the air and heard a shot fired in anger. It will help you understand a small amount of what is faced. Jack Lewis is one of those writers that is not to be missed or passed over when you are perusing the catalog. Buy the book. The only disappointment that owning it will bring is the realization you could have owned it much sooner. Welcome home, Jack. We as a nation can never pay you or your fellow soldiers enough for what you gave up, and the costs many are still paying.