Sunday, July 7, 2013
Book Review: Freedom Run (by Jamie Summerlin)
Jamie served in the Marine Corps for 6 years and while in, he met and later married his wife, Tiffany. "Freedom Run" is about his 3,452 mile journey from Coos Bay, Oregon, the starting point...also the home of the famed Steve Prefontaine (although that had no bearing on the reason for starting there) to the east coast. I mention Tiffany because she is as much a central character in the story as Jamie is. From the months of planning prior to the run to driving the RV, being a roaming aid station, and caring for their two children while Jamie ran, it was truly a team effort and he couldn't have done it without her. Like his run, the families of today's military can't do it and serve without them. It was a great way to unintentionally highlight what crucial role our families play.
(here are multiple ways to get his book, both in paperback and digitally) I will briefly talk about his arrival at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, which was Day 100: One might expect tons of fanfare and a few pages chock full of the celebration. I can tell you without spoiling it that it is far from that. In fact, I don't think he spent more than a few paragraphs on that arrival which was par for the course during the previous 100 days. Jamie says many times throughout his journey that it's not about him, it's about the veterans...it's why he was doing it. He was brought to tears many times over those 100 days and that's where the book shines. The stories of plain 'ol human nature, love of country and the fellow man helping another...and a few chuckles here and there about Forrest Gump and naked runners. :-) Jamie is a normal guy, too, that hurts and has struggles. 100 days of running will certainly take its toll physically and certainly emotionally/mentally. Jamie's retelling of his journey is a raw account of it all which is probably another reason I enjoyed it so much.
So please consider picking up and reading it. At the end, I'm guessing that you'll sit back and take an inventory of your life and wonder how intentionally you are living and how you are blessing others. You will ask yourself if you're doing what truly makes you happy, too. I also hope that Jamie's story will confirm in your heart that freedom in our country is not free. It was paid for and is currently being paid for by those who have served or are serving. "Freedom Run"...perfectly named and highly recommended for all.