Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"For Love of Country"

Today's convocation speaker at MTSU, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, talking about this year's freshman summer read For Love of Country. Our veterans can teach us a great deal about citizenship, heroism, and sacrifice, as noted at last month's convention.

25 comments:

  1. I found the summer reading to be interesting, entertaining, and in many chapters, quite captivating! An adjective I would not use to describe "For Love of Country," however, is profound. I found the overall message simplistic enough to be perfectly represented on the back cover, and that was a let down because I like the insides of books to to tell me something new and noteworthy.

    My favorite thing about the book was not actually the book itself, but rather the conversations it sparked during my time in Europe this summer. Europeans have very different ideas and views about nationalism and patriotism than we do here in the states, and upon seeing the cover of the book, voiced them. Our discussions and debates which lasted well into the late hours of the night have become experiences for which I am truly grateful.

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  3. Sean Winsett (H3)4:31 PM CDT

    While The book wasn't my favorite read, I enjoyed it because it gave me insight into the reality of what veterans go through during war and when they come home from war. I enjoyed learning about the mindsets of veterans and what they are thinking on he battlefield, where many commit extraordinary acts of valor and only few knowing about it. Also, the hardships the veterans endured when they come home, whole or not, is inspiring because it shows that one can do anything they set their mind to if they only try their hardest.

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  4. Isabella Barnett (H3)6:10 PM CDT

    I truly enjoyed "For Love of Country," and found it very thought provoking. It reminded me a lot of "The Things They Carried" by Tim O"Brien. I understand that the acts depicted in this book are not uncommon but it was interesting and inspiring to read about men and women committing such unselfish acts and then to think about how selfish people can be in normal life. In fact, it made me slightly angry to think that soldiers, who have already made a huge sacrifice by volunteering to serve and protect people that could't care less or even criticize their efforts, can make the ultimate sacrifice for their country and citizens here at home can't even make the effort to understand and accommodate, for lack of a better term, the needs of those who return home. Those that return home with missing limbs and substantial injuries have more optimism and zeal than those who have more money and opportunities than they know what to do with. Another point that became very clear to me after reading the book, was the fact that while patriotism is a obvious motivator, it is the connection between soldiers, the brotherhood, that motivates these men and women to do the extreme. I think we would all like to think we would be that unselfish, that heroic, but in truth it is rare and it should be respected. As an army brat, I have seen and heard first hand the stories and physical/mental toll it takes to do that job and I have the utmost respect for those that choose to serve.

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  5. For Love of Country was enjoyable but not unexpected. I wasn't surprised when I read about how brave our veterans are or how much they sacrifice for our Nation. I am glad I read the book. The back cover promised "A celebration of the extraordinary courage, dedication, and service of this generation of American veterans on the battlefield and their equally valuable contributions on the home front.". That is exactly what I got out of it, a celebration When I put down the book, I didn't feel any particular call to action. I was left with a big "Now What?".
    On Sunday, Rajiv said something along the lines of Being a good citizen is the best way to serve our veterans. Stepping up instead of turning our backs when we are confronted with issues. In part I wonder is that all? Is there nothing more we can do? But on the other hand, I am not sure that I am always capable of stepping up or even being a good citizen.
    At least not on my own.

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  6. Martin Davies7:41 AM CDT

    (H3) As someone who has no connection to the military, I was stunned to read about what our veterans have actually sacrificed for our country. It was engaging about the reality of war and life after it, but the novel was not necessarily profound or philisophic; Once I finished reading I was left sitting, thinking about what exactly makes us good people and why we do the things we do. It opened my eyes to see how much our military actually does for us inside and outside of combat, and what else we can do to help them. For Love of Country did not entice or inspire me to ever want to join the military, but I certainly hold a much deeper appreciation and respect for our military than I did before reading it. Any criticism on the novel would be it's seemingly over-arching 'Christians do good, Christians help the military' message written behind most of the stories. It's wonderful to have spiritual soldiers in our military, but spirituality does not always render compassion, and a lack of spirituality does not negate selfless acts of patriotism or just for the sake of doing good. It would do good to hear from those perspectives as well, we seem to have an overcrowding of "One nation under God" and not an abundance of "One nation". This difference can easily turn one against another, which seems to be a problem in our nation in the 21st century.
    That's just what I got from the story from my limited perspective.

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  7. Phil-H1

    The book commends those who are brave enough to willingly sacrifice their daily lives for the betterment of their country. Though myself not one who normally enjoys reading about the valor of our country's heroes, thoroughly appreciated their stories being told in a fashion that shines a light on their love for this country. This book provides the prideful notion that we as a country should take note of the bravery of our homes veterans.

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  8. (H3) Prior to reading For Love of Country, I had no knowledge of what soldiers face and why they serve (yet, still I can not say I truly understand what it means to be a soldier, not having been in their place). The text is really insightful in these two areas, as the book advertised itself to elaborate. However, I found myself thinking about the ideas of love and its opposite, the lack thereof. Love is a central theme in the first half of the text, and love made the soldiers not only sacrifice in the context of their physical selves, but also their human selves. In a general sense, I do imagine there still is a moral dilemma of being in a situation to kill the enemy to save fellow soldiers. They still have to kill a person. Love for country and what that embodies- family, friends, its future- forces them to an act that to a citizen would be immoral. War is fought because of love- for love of the country. Furthermore, after thinking this way, maybe some things could be said about any general enemy and why they fight us.

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  9. (H3) For Love of Country was a truly eye opening book. Before reading this book I had a high respect for anyone in the military but this book heightened that respect. I was in awe when I stopped to ponder the book and how truly heroic all members of the military are. These men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect their men and women and to protect the country they all loved. I personally nearly joined the military in order to help pay my way through college and because I feel a deep sense of patriotism, but I eventually decided against joining. This book struck a chord in my heart due to the fact that I almost pursued that life and I have several people I am close to who are in the military. I believe it is a beneficial book for any American to read in order to further appreciate the life they have.

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  10. (H1) I loved For Love of Country and felt particularly moved by several of the stories. Although I have family members that have served in the military in the past and that are currently serving, I have never thought so deeply about the sacrifices made day by day. However, I cannot help but contemplate the perspective of the citizens in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and etc.

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  11. Joi Williams5:14 PM CDT

    (H2) Overall, I found the summer reading book to be quite interesting. I have family members who have put their lives on the line for the safety we take for granted so this book definitely hit home for me. The stories of the heroic men and women in this book were quite moving and just made my respect for those who serve our country that much greater. I attended convocation and got to listen to the co-author's address and he spoke quite well. He gave a little taste of a story in the book and touched on the heroism of our armed forces. I honestly can't say I would've looked in this book's direction had it not been assigned but I'm glad I got to read it.

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  12. (H1) For Love of Country was a great book which helped the reader access the mentality and devotion processed by service members. Other than presenting 10 stories, the book focused on society's problem of separation between service members and civilians. Therefore, reads like For Love of Country assist in bridging the cap in mental philosophy in terms of service and devotion to one's duty, honor, and country. The book was beautifully written and provided great insight and connection, normally I would not have picked this book up, however, I am glad that it was assigned.

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  13. H1
    I have never found a book that can invoke the emotions of pride, sorrow, and anger all at the same time. This book told true stories about the people we take for granted in our lives. It showed us that service can be either on or off the battlefield and the heroic acts of the people fighting for our freedom should not be forgotten and should be persevered. This book bridges the gap between soldiers and the ones they serve and allows you too see and understand why these men and women should not be taken for granted. This is an eye opening book and I am very glad I read it.

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  14. (H3) I enjoyed reading this book for sake of its central theme & stories behind these heroic acts that showed what it truly means to be an American. It allows to you take a glance into the heartfelt emotions and the physical and mental pain of our veterans, embracing our freedom for what it stands for. For Love of Country gives courage and patriotism an entire new meaning. This book makes the reader take a step back and think about where they stand as an American citizen and what kind of acts of courage they could portray as their duty. The people telling these stories use their experiences with war to endure and transform their communities and fellow citizens. It is not your typical book of American pride; it offers a different perspective.

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  15. (H2) I had a very good time reading this book. I could ramble on about the books theme and it's other literary techniques but that's not what this book requires. Each story was more thought provoking then the last and some stayed with me more then others. One of these stories depicted Army Rangers fighting insurgents in Afghanistan (I believe) and they are sent to capture an asset designated as Ares-102. This event shows the Rangers desperate attempt to flee from a mine field and it just makes you wonder how so many people can have such bravery and sacrifice that many of us wouldn't admit we do not posses. But that is the beauty of it, these are men and women just like us who do such extraordinary things for the sake of our country and our freedom. And maybe my ties to the military are what make these feelings so strong. But this book was worth the time and I would encourage others to take the time to read it.

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  16. Kaite Berry12:26 PM CDT

    (H01) I had a very difficult time reading this book. I have the utmost respect for all of our men and women in service and those who have served, but I do not find their stories too interesting. I had to force myself to read it, knowing there may be assignments on it. It was somewhat like reading a textbook to me, without the academic knowledge. I may get crawled for this response, but it is the truth. I do still respect Mr. Chandrasekaran for illustrating to the public some of the horribly tragic things that our armed services face and his speech at Convocation was interesting, but as for his book, I found it very hard to read due how uninteresting it was to me.

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    1. (H01) I know what you mean. I put off reading it for quite some time in fear of just that.

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  18. (H01) I was pleasantly surprised by For Love Of Country, however not exceedingly so. I found the prose rather nice, the narrative bits were enjoyable and even the reflections weren't unbearably dry. I was however quite off put by the intense propaganda feeling. I am probably being unfair as all books are meant to convey a point and such sway your opinion, however the combination of how aggressively the authors chose to go after their particular mission and the mere fact of this being required reading of a public university left me with quite a bad taste. Perhaps if I had read this book on my own that impression wouldn't be as glaring for me, but as is I can't really get over it.

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  19. H2-TTh 1-2:25, H118

    I was filled with a strong level of humility by reading this wonderful book. It is such a clean cut book which is refreshing in this "sugar coated" world. I hope all the other who read it felt as moved as I did by it.

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  20. H2
    This book was surprising. I thought it was going to be similar to the boring books in high school. The book was inspiring and the stories where beautifully woven together. It opened my eyes to how poorly the veterans are being treated.

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  21. H1
    While I believe that documenting the stories of our men in arms is extremely important, I think there are better books to do such a thing. Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried," in my opinion, would have been a better choice to illustrate the sacrifices that our men in arms make for us.
    One point that For Love of Country did bring forward for contemplation was the way our veterans are treated for their ailments after the fact. A huge amount of veterans come home with PTSD, or have lost limbs to IED's, and the way their ailments are treated in America. While there are plenty of veteran run groups that do great things, our federal government, the one who our men are supposedly fighting for, does little to nothing to protect. This must change.

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  22. Mikaela Cherfan (H2)10:16 PM CDT

    Never before being assigned this book did I ever picture myself reading anything like it. I remember the way my jaw dropped the first time someone's limbs got blown off, and how my stomach tied in knots every time the noble characters dropped their fearless demeanor and shed a bit of their built up sorrow. The dedication and bravery exhibited by the soldiers of our country are things that I underestimated and under-appreciated prior to reading this book. While it did not inspire me to join the military, which is a hard task considering I don't possess the selflessness or heroism that's required for the job, I do think the book served it's purpose: to strengthen my understanding of what our veterans really go through and what I can do to make them feel comfortable returning from a war zone to normal society.

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  23. (H1) For love country was a great read and really put you into the mind of those serving and protecting us. You get to really connect with each persons story. I have no real military ties in my family but i feel after reading this book i have a greater respect for what all they go through.

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