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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
The Final Salute is a military fiction by Kathleen Rodgers. Colonel Tuck Westerfield, a fighter pilot at Beauregard Air Force base who flew in the Gulf war, mourns the death of his friend and colleague. His unhappiness rises after catching his Commanding Officer cheating with another officer, as his boss constantly threatens him. Gina, Tuck’s wife, worries about his moodiness, which the neighbour’s dog provokes; and Michelle, her rebellious, gothic-attired stepdaughter who visits. Tuck travels down Memory Lane, reliving his childhood while remembering his friends and colleagues who died courageously, and wonders why life deals such blows. He is assigned to the Middle East after Iraq invades Kuwait and his experiences there make him more determined to consider adjustments to his life if he survives.
Kathleen Rodgers has created an engrossing military fiction appropriately called The Final Salute. She gives a very realistic account of what life is like in the air force, both from those who serve and from their family members’ point of view. It is an intriguing story that has so many emotions as the diverse characters express their joys, fears, pains and sadness in different ways. The author also demonstrated quite nicely how a few military careers may be tarnished and how some scandals or other conflicts are quickly covered up. The Final Salute is a book I did not want to put down, and I think Kathleen Rodgers writes descriptively and with compassion. She shows readers another side of military life in an original and interesting format.