The author describes his memoir: "It's based on wartime letters. Upon arriving at the United States Marine Corps Boot Camp one of the first things my drill instructors told me to do was to write at least two letters home a week. I did what they told me. My father, a World War II combat veteran, kept my letters, all 146 of them (and the 250 images I sent home). I continued to write all through my combat tour in Vietnam and my hospital stay in Japan recovering from wounds. I have selected and edited the most meaningful correspondence and added a narrative thread so I could tell the full story of my military experience as a high school kid from rural Ohio transformed into a Marine. The letters describe my further transformation into a war fighting Marine grunt in combat and finally will take you through my metamorphosis into a war-altered ex-Marine but a Marine still."