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July 3, 2015
Posted at 12:56 pm

Chapter 32

Thank you to everybody who wrote to me on a variety of military issues. Several emails were about preferred weapons. Some preferred the M-14 and some the M-16. I even heard from readers who preferred the M-1 Garand and the M-1903 Springfield! I also received a number of anecdotes about the weapons, both for the good and bad. I received some emails, just like I did with A Fresh Start, about the wonders of the M1911A1 Colt .45 vs. the M9 Beretta and vice versa.

PS: Related to this question, on a totally unrelated topic, I would love to hear about the M11 Sig Sauer P228 (compact version of the P226.) Specifically, how does it compare against the M9 Beretta Grim is already familiar with. I am contemplating future chapters with the P226 in the .40 cal version. If you are familiar with it, let me know.

As regards the terminology issue regarding NCO nomenclature, the best email of all reported: "I'm an army veteran and the whole non-com thing is bogus. The proper term for a drill sergeant or any non-coms is 'that sonofabitch.'" Love it!

I clarified the inheritance issue mentioned in Chapter 31. Kelly can inherit, but Grim has to specify it in his will. If he doesn't specify that, it would go to his next of kin, his parents. Rather than really delve into what is a very minor element, I simply sidestepped it. I also did some touch-up and clarification on Gonzalez getting married.

Finally, a number of readers who had served pointed out that the previous comments regarding terminology were correct. I have made editing changes to chapters 27, 30, and 31. My apologies to all who served. I have obviously seen too many Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies! Feel free to have me flogged and flayed. Trust me, I have a vast amount of respect for those who served, and apologize for the errors.

My wife continues to slowly read A Fresh Start, emphasis on slowly. Every once in a while I refer to future events and she flips me off as impossible. For instance, this week we had the grandkids and she made a fast comment about not having kids around, and I immediately thought of her and Hamid. The best moment? "Honey, wait until you read about Marilyn getting arrested!" She immediately squawked about that. I can't wait for when she gets to that!

- rlfj