I almost remained silent, as I have not finished the book. But the last post fired me up. No, I have not finished the book (I'm close), but I will. I am deeply affected by it and have had trouble tearing myself away from it, but family obligations have made it impossible to sit down for an extended period of time.
I too hate violence. I would much prefer a diplomatic approach to any sort of conflict. But that is not reality. My perspective is a bit different because my husband is a police officer. They too are trained in violence. But, I am very grateful they are. We live in a violent world, and the stories I hear often rock me to the core. Although I believe the world is full of goodness and amazing people, there is much evil. Horrible people walk the streets daily; our soldiers/military personnel/officers exist because of that.
My husband is trained to kill. And I am glad. It helps me sleep at night knowing that there is one more competent "good guy" on the street to help balance things out. He comes home bloody and bruised after combat training. I hate seeing him that way, but I am humbled. He is willing to risk his life to ensure we remain safe. He is willing to give up a 9-5 desk job with a hefty salary, kiss his family goodnight and head out to keep our community safe from harm. Each night he risks his safety without the cover of some magic hero cape; he has no super powers. He must rely on his training. He must rely on that grueling, innocence breaking training.
It isn't pretty. It isn't pleasant. It certainly isn't enjoyable to read about. But it is necessary. My husband is a good cop. He is thorough. He is hard working. He is honest. He does everything in his power to avoid violence. He does not want to pull his weapon. He does not want to be a killing machine. But our world does not allow for anything different. Sadly, there is no Utopia. And just as I must watch him drive into the darkness each night, many fathers, mothers, wives, must send their sons and husbands off to fight a war we would rather not be fighting.
I understand this book was a hard read. I get that. I also respect the decision to put it down. But please know that there is much more than arrogance and testosterone behind the uniform. There is beauty in bravery. There is beauty in courage. And there is beauty in understanding.