Veterans: For the Love of the Corps
By Chrissy Dionne
Dec 12, 2007 - 3:48:03 AM

The Marine Corps taught Mike Collins a lot about himself - the least of which was the fact that he is gay.   During boot camp he’s paired up with a fellow Marine whom Mike finds attractive.   Scott and Mike become extremely good friends while both struggle with their feelings for each other.   It’s only when they’re given a weekend off that they decide to spend it together in Jacksonville that they give in to their mutual desire.

Mike and Scott fall in love and take pains to keep their feelings hidden.   Being gay could result in being ousted from the military and they take great pride in their occupation.   Their loving relationship comes to an abrupt and violent end in the mountains of Afghanistan when their platoon is attacked.   Mike is seriously injured and learns later when he wakes from a coma that Scott is dead.   The loss is devastating but it isn’t something he can share openly.


Living without Scott is extremely difficult and Mike alternates between rage and despair.   He finally decides that the best way to kill himself would be to return to combat.   The Marine Corps has other ideas and he’s shipped back to the U.S.   While he is still assigned to the Third Battalion of the Sixth Regiment he’s been reassigned to the Alpha Company as a platoon sergeant.  


His new position puts Mike in command of about forty men and under the direct command of First Lieutenant Paul Richards.   From the first meeting, Paul’s voice alone is able to calm Mike.   It’s the first time since Mike’s release from the hospital that he feels any interest in another man.   Guilt, fear, and confusion besiege him until Paul confronts him about his behavior and forces him to realize that it’s okay to live and love again.


Bobby Michaels tells an emotionally appealing story with his contribution to the VETERANS series.   FOR THE LOVE OF THE CORPS brings to light not only the effects of the military’s   ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy but also the closeness that recruits feel for each other - gay or otherwise.   I loved the relationship between Mike and Scott.   They were such a loving couple that it was heartbreaking when Scott died.   Paul’s entry into Mike’s life couldn’t have been more perfect.   Paul accepts that Scott will always have a place in Mike’s heart and that really endears him to me.   There’s something so pure about Mike and Paul’s relationship that I just adored them and their families are simply wonderful.  


FOR THE LOVE OF THE CORPS is one book sure to pull at your heartstrings and leave you smiling through your tears.   Be sure to check out the rest of the books in Loose Id’s VETERANS series.   They’re all endearing tales featuring friends who have served in the military and how the experience has changed them.

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