The Final Salute

The Final Salute


Fiction - Military
288 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Texas based author Kathleen M. Rodgers is a former frequent contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. Her work has also appeared in anthologies published by McGraw-Hill, University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books, Health Communications, Inc., AMG Publishers, and Press 53. In 2014, Kathleen was named a Distinguished Alumna from Tarrant County College/NE Campus. Three of her aviation poems were featured in a new exhibit at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, NY.

She is the author of the award-winning novel, The Final Salute, featured in USA Today, The Associated Press, and Military Times. Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, has garnered four awards: First Place Winner for women's fiction from Texas Association of Authors 2016 Best Book Awards, 2015 Gold Medal for literary fiction from Military Writers Society of America, Bronze Medal for women's fiction from Readers' Favorite 2015 International Book Awards, & 2015 Best Cover Awards from Southern Writers Magazine. The novel has been featured in Family Magazine, Stars & Stripes, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News, Southern Writers Magazine, and on "The Author's Corner" on Public Radio.

She is the mother of two grown sons: Thomas, a graduate of University of North Texas and a working artist in Denton, Texas, and J.P., a graduate of Texas Tech University and a former Army officer who earned a Bronze Star in 2014 in Afghanistan. Kathleen and her husband, Tom, a retired USAF fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot, reside in Colleyville, Texas with their rescue dog, Denton. Kathleen is working on a new novel titled Seven Wings to Glory and is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency.

Book Review

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.