"...American people are a peace-loving people...but there are times when they also must face reality. That reality is sometimes―WAR."

The author published this book as a statement of his personal belief in the value of defending one’s country. This short memoir covers 1950 to 1956, beginning with the orders for the author to report for induction into the U.S. Army and ending with his honorable discharge. Bartling modestly refers to this as his “little bit” of service.

After completing basic training at Fort Riley, he was assigned to advanced leadership training and then instructed newer recruits to prepare for what he calls “destructive” action. Arriving in Korea that fall, Bartling and squad members near the 38th parallel built bunkers constructed from trees they cut down and packed with mud. Their major assignment was searching for and destroying landmines. This was performed under cover of night, crawling on hands and knees to probe the mud. On a lighter note was the building of a stage for Cardinal Spellman to conduct the 1951 Christmas Mass. Photos of the event are included. Those 22 months were not of little consequence since Bartling was repeatedly promoted. Rotating back to the States after the maximum ten months deployment, he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in the face of an American enemy. Many of his fellow soldiers had posthumously received the Purple Heart. The Korean War Service Medal was awarded him by the Republic of Korea on the 50th anniversary of that war.

Americans expect that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans will shield them from attack by enemies. The author states emphatically that these barriers are not enough. He gives as his own motivation the belief that Communism had to be fought. The author’s book is a powerful account of bravery and humility. Sharper graphics would improve the overall impact of this heroic memoir.

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