David Finkel takes a dark topic, soldiers returning from duty with PSTD and other injuries, and turns it into something starkly beautiful. The book is filled with haunting stories.
For instance, James Doster makes a fateful decision. Doster gives Adam Schumann his chance to Skype his family because he feels Schumann needs the time more than he does.
Because he earned Doster’s spot, Schumann misses a mission that blows up Doster’s Humvee. Adam feels horribly guilty. He was the one, after all, who was best at spotting bombs.
Michael Emory, shot in the head, is paralyzed down the left the side. Adam rescued him by carrying him down a flight of stairs. Emory keeps his helmet and uses it as a Halloween candy bowl.
Then there’s Tausolo Aietti who sees the soldier he didn’t save every night in his nightmares.
Written in a frank, engaging style, Thank You For Your Service is incredibly moving.