Documentary filmmaker Benjamin Patton, grandson of famed WWII
general George S. Patton Jr. (he was actually the thrid George Smith Patton), and son of George Patton IV--a decorated veteran
of both Korea and Vietnam--explores the lives of these men through interviews and
wartime correspondence spanning some of the most pivotal moments in history.
The impetus for this book was the loss of Patton IV's journals and
scrapbooks in a house fire. His son, Benjamin, set out to reclaim as many of
these memories as possible through a series of audio interviews and letters, in
the hope that they could be used as the basis for his father's autobiography
(unfortunately never written).
The narrative framing the correspondences was both insightful, as
well as providing a very personal view of the related content. There were times
when it was less of a documentary, and more of just someone sitting down and
talking to you fondly about a family member.
The thing that stood out most in my mind was the dedication the
generals had from their fighting men, not due to Army traditions and regulations,
but because "it was the right thing to do"; that even in the grips of
dementia from Parkinson's, Patton IV's last thoughts were of the men he had not
only commanded, but led into combat so long ago.
In this day and age when America seems on the edge of political civil war,
it gives me hope knowing that such men once helped protect this nation in its
time of need, and that those who follow in their footsteps will do so again. I
highly recommend this book.
MilSciFi.com specializes in the sub-genre of military SF; but let
us never forget that in its truest form, it is less about the high-tech toys
and alien landscapes, then it is about the human costs of dealing with the
horrors of war, and the fight for survival. In our opinion, it is a good thing
to learn from the facts of history, before moving off into the realms of fiction.