Book Review– I’ll Go: War, Religion, and Coming Home from Cairo to Kansas City
by Kerry Patton
When the Twin Towers fell on 9-11-2001, Alexs Thompson didn’t rejoin the military, he quit his classes at the University of Chicago and backpacked through Yemen and Egypt to live with Muslim fundamentalists. This journey inevitably allowed him to become an incredibly sought-after expert within the United States Government. But more importantly, the journey allowed him an opportunity to discover who he really is.
Growing up in the Philadelphia region under an abusive step-father helped shape the curiosity within Alexs. During this time, under unique circumstances, he not only discovered his Christian faith but also, in time, found his biological father. Simply put, Alexs’ horrific circumstance molded him to search the world for answers.
The answers sought may remain unclear but one thing for certain is his quench for humanity.
Raised in what many would assume to be evil, Alexs never faltered with his aspirations to ensure he remained true to his own identity—an identity not built around his race, sexual orientation, nor economic status but rather an identity which saturates itself in love, kindness, and a determination to understand people vastly different than he.
Motivated by an unwavering commitment to live the best life possible, this is his true story of triumph. Rather than succumbing to his tumultuous childhood or the trauma of combat, he confronted obstacle after obstacle in a heroic attempt to save a world at war.
But what I believe Alexs fails to realize is through this book, through his story, he very well may have not necessarily saved a world at war but rather every individual he ever came in contact with. In many regards, he may be the epitome of “changing hearts and minds” one person at a time.
I’ll Go: War, Religion, and Coming Home From Cairo to Kansas City is a book that may anger some after reading about child abuse he endured. It may put tears in eyes via reading about the love and loss of friends and colleagues in battle. But when putting the book down, one will smile wide realizing his greatest accomplishment—love.
Dr. Alexs Thompson has been published in Joint Force Quarterly—the leading military journal directed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Small Wars Journal, and has been a guest speaker at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy as well as the Association of the United States Army. In his travels, he worked with Generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal and participated in numerous pivotal combat zones in the War on Terror.
Kerry Patton is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force turned actor, producer, director, writer, and stunt performer.
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