Most of those who review this book are military or retired military. As a teenager, I saw the mini-series (if only they would show it again) and it truly inspired me. It inspired me to respect all those who aspire to the military calling. This novel embodies the best ideals of the military, and speaking as a civilian, this novel best communicates why soldiers serve. If you read one book in your life, let this be it -whether you are a soldier or a civilian. This book has had a greater impact on my life than any other.