I Heard My Country Calling, A Memoir by James Webb; 2014; $27.00; 370 pages; Simon and Schuster, New York, NY; B-We3825i; 978-1-4767-4112-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 7/31/14-8/7/14
Since this is America and we try to label everyone and everything let’s try and stick one label on James Webb, Air Force Brat, less than stellar student, Naval Academy graduate, Marine Lieutenant, Vietnam Veteran, Son, Father, Husband, Senate Committee staffer, Defense Department staffer, Secretary of the Navy, Author and Senator. So it would be hard to just put him in one box. He talks about moving a lot as a child, something that I also did a lot of, he does it so eloquently in places that it took my breath away. He tells tales of his father a career military man who during his educated himself and made more of himself becoming one of the top missile people in the Air Force. His time in Vietnam is harrowing and he also speaks eloquently of the men he was with and with some of the outrages that he witnessed while he was there and also of the story of Son Thang, a village in which five Marines were charged with war crimes. The difference in sentences in that case were what angered me, one Marine was granted immunity, two were acquitted, one was given a life sentence (later commuted to one year) and another was given 5 years. Webb also tells why he served only one term as a senator when he probably could have gotten re elected, which says a lot about the state of our government today.
Did I like it? Yes, some of it related to things I have been through so I was moved and encouraged by what I read. Some of the things that he has experienced or been involved with saddened me. He shared most of the highs and many of the lows in his life.
What is with the title of the review? I was moved by what Webb wrote and angered by some of the stuff that he wrote about