A Story Of Love And Honor
On Sale: December 30, 2008
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In 2005, First Sergeant Charles Monroe King began to write
what would become a two-hundred-page journal for his son in
case he did not make it home from the war in Iraq. Charles
King, forty-eight, was killed on October 14, 2006, when an
improvised explosive device detonated under his Humvee on an
isolated road near Baghdad. His son, Jordan, was seven
A Journal for Jordan is a mother’s
letter to her son–fierce in its honesty–about the father he
lost before he could even speak. It is also a father’s
advice and prayers for the son he will never know.
father figure to the soldiers under his command, Charles
moved naturally into writing to his son. In neat block
letters, he counseled him on everything from how to
withstand disappointment and deal with adversaries to how to
behave on a date. And he also wrote, from his tent, of
recovering a young soldier’s body, piece by piece, from a
tank–and the importance of honoring that young man’s life.
He finished the journal two months before his death while
home on a two-week leave, so intoxicated with love for his
infant son that he barely slept.
Finally, this is
the story of Dana and Charles together–two seemingly
mismatched souls who loved each other deeply. She was a
Pulitzer Prize—winning editor for the New York Times
who struggled with her weight. He was a decorated military
officer with a sculpted body who got his news from
television. She was impatient, brash, and cynical about
love. He was excruciatingly shy and stubborn, and put his
military service before anything else. In these pages, we
relive with Dana the slow unfolding of their love, their
decision to become a family, the chilling news that Charles
has been deployed to Iraq, and the birth of their son.
In perhaps the most wrenching chapter in the book,
Dana recounts her search for answers about Charles’s death.
Unsatisfied with the army’s official version of what
happened and determined to uncover the truth, she pored over
summaries of battalion operations reports and drew on her
well-honed reporting skills to interview the men who were
with Charles on his last convoy, his commanding officers,
and other key individuals. In the end, she arrived at an
account of Charles’s death–and his last days in his
battalion–that was more difficult to face than the story she
had been told, but that affirmed the decency and courage of
this warrior and father.
A Journal for Jordan
is a tender introduction, a loving good-bye, a
reporter’s inquiry into her soldier’s life, and a
heartrending reminder of the human cost of war.
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