Model Marine is a coming of age story. I chose to write and publish this novel first because the topic is nearest to my heart. I spent twenty years in the Marine Corps, and anyone who knows a Marine will tell you it is more than a job. It is not what Marines “do.” It is what we become and remain for the rest of our lives.
The Marine Corps is a family—sometimes a dysfunctional family—but the kind that will sacrifice everything for each other. I wanted to create a story that would reveal through its characters that environment. The kind of environment that infuses young adults with teamwork and camaraderie, courage and discipline, hardship and sacrifice. But the Corps is not perfect and neither are the Marines in this story. However, they demonstrate characteristics and endure hardships that turn young women and men into heroes.
Model Marine is about Molly Monroe and several people from her past and present. The civilians and Marines in Molly’s life intersect, and the story unfolds from their varied perspectives. Some of the same events are seen from multiple angles. Image and point-of-view are heavy undercurrents within this story of love, friendship, sacrifice, and redemption.
Molly’s story does not unfold chronologically. She has experienced head trauma, so there are flashbacks and trauma-induced dreams mingled in with the forward moving story-line. The events take place primarily at (or near) Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan; and the military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. However, there are snippets of her past in other places scattered throughout the narration.
Be prepared to encounter forbidden love and a love triangle. You will also meet a mother who tries to control her daughter’s destiny, a brother who is the self-appointed protector, a family full of secrets, and an estranged best friend. But most importantly, you will experience characters who truly bring to life the spirit of the Marine Corps.