Sara's son, Jason, goes missing from a Special Operations Force mission on the same night as the Bin Laden raid. The book opens on the ninth day he has been missing. The book travels in time from Jason's birth to the point of his return to her. Through letters and emails and memories we learn about his early days and then his decision, after 9/11 to join the Navy and go on into the training that puts him in harm's way.
The story of his training is not tedious, as it might be in the hands of another writer. We get to know Jason as he matures and becomes an respected leader through remembrances of fellow trainees, as they communicate with Sara after he has gone missing. The details about wars throughout the history of the world, and especially America's wars, are poignantly retold. In one of my favorite letters to his mother Jason writes about the difference between the soldiers returning after WW II and the Vietnam survivors. The WW II soldiers came home on boats and could talk about what they had been through, then came home and "didn't say a thing". Vietnam vets came home on planes. "A few hours, and they went from a jungle to a Dairy Queen. They didn't have a chance to talk."
I don't have a son in the military but one of my sons chose a career in law enforcement. Everyone should read this book, if only to reinforce the necessity to thank the women and men who serve and protect us every hour of every day, locally, nationally and internationally.