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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
I loved Warrior: From Nazi Occupied Holland to the Jungles of Vietnam...An Immigrant's Story by Leonard Deege. A line from a book I read years ago kept popping into my mind. The Grim Reaper is talking to a man whose soul he is about to collect. The man is bitter. After all, he is about to die. He keeps asking the Reaper, “Why was I even sent here? What was the point? What was in it for me? What did I get out of this? What did I get?” I don’t remember the name of the book. I barely remember the story. But I will never forget the answer to the question, “What did I get?” The answer was simple and incredibly profound at the same time. “You got what everyone else got. You got a life.” Leonard Deege has shared his life with us. He is from an earlier generation than I am. His life moved me. I think it will move you too.
Warrior is rich in detail. Details of life. Details of loss. Details of love. If you've ever wondered about life during and after the German occupation of Holland, then this is the book for you. I hadn't read any first-person accounts before this. This one is not particularly eloquent or poetic. It is just real. It is just detailed. It is very well told. That is an eloquence in and of itself. The old black and white pictures in this memoir make it even more real. They could have been taken from a history book. Instead they are taken from a life. That is more powerful. I enjoyed Warrior. I enjoyed looking at Leonard Deege’s life. I can appreciate the life of a fellow United States 'Warrior.'