A Professional Soldier’s Notebook

Many might class me as lucky, I have never been called into service, I didn’t dodge my responsibilities, the occasion just simply did not arise. I do however have great admiration for the brave men and women that have committed their time, efforts and lives to protecting the security of not just the US, but all of the free world. I have a stepson Bobby who was deployed twice to Iraq, my father was in World War Two, and my grand father lost a leg in World War One. War is a brutal event. War kills. War changes people forever.

Words For Warriors is written by Colonel Ralph Puckett, a man who has very much dedicated his life to the armed services. Born in 1926, he entered the services in 1948, and in one capacity or another has been involved up until his ‘final, and definitely the last retirement’ in 2008. That is a span of 60 years!  There are few people that have committed so much of their life to securing the nation as Colonel Ralph Puckett.

When I first heard about this book I was expecting a memoir, but within a few minutes I realized that this was not the case. Yes Colonel Puckett does indeed talk about some of his experiences, but, he puts them in the context of a ‘how to’ guide.

There is no question that Words For Warriors should be required reading for every soldier, it should also be on the ‘to do’ list of every manager and company owner. There is much to be learned from reading Words For Warriors for us mere mortals.

There was one short story that caught my eye. My mother always told me “Saying thank you did not cost anything.”

I do believe that my mother was right (but don’t tell her!). Saying Thank You actually can have unexpected consequences. A soldier on ‘punishment’ was tasked with the vacuuming of the offices. The poor soul came into Colonel Puckett’s lair, and asked permission, it was granted, and the man proceeded to clean the office. Once the task was completed Colonel Puckett thanked the private, and asked his name, “Private White” was the response. The exact reason that this man was on ‘punishment’ is not known, but he certainly was not expecting what came next, Colonel Puckett thanked him for taking time to clean his office. The young mans response was what caught my attention:

Sir, you’re the first one who ever thanked me for something I did

Saying Thank You does not cost a dime, but it certainly makes a huge difference. Saying the simple phrase ‘Thank You’, is a wonderful accolade to many people.

Words For Warriors is far from a memoir, it is a series of micro chapters that look at many aspects of conflict, peace, and friendship. There is much to be learned within the pages of this book.

I have to admit that even though I was not part of the US armed services, I am proud to know that people like Colonel Puckett were. I am stubborn in my life style, I address people in what I believe is the correct fashion, the only people I have called sir, are masters in school, and the occasional peer of the land that I have met. But to Colonel Ralph Puckett I say – Sir, I salute you!

You can order your copy of Words For Warriors by clicking on the cover art above.

Simon Barrett

A Side Note – for those of you that are not familiar with Colonel Puckett here is the Wiki on him.

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