The book Orphanage (Jason Wander) was first published in 2008 by Robert Buettner, a former Army Military Intelligence officer.
Bill Golden sez: If you liked or loved Robert Heinlein’s classic Starship Troopers then you will quickly come to like Orphanage by Buettner. The books are alike in so many ways, even with political undertones that many readers would overlook. Heinlein’s classic allowed voting rights only to those that served honorably in federal service, i.e. the military (a long running argument on this examined in great detail – PDF). Buettner’s take is similar but with a strong post 9/11 update as to how the world works.
Lots of military humor soaked into this book as the main character, Jason Wander, goes from being a reluctant screw-up of a military recruit to a breveted general officer (eventually).
If you want some light reading with a familiar theme that keeps you constantly meeting new characters and full of plot twists then this is the book, and the book series for you to read.
Some really good news is this is a book series and each book just gets better. Wars are not over quickly and neither is this series.
Other books in this series that I have read and like; no, I have not read them all yet.
- Orphan’s Destiny (Jason Wander)
- Orphan’s Journey (Jason Wander)
- Orphan’s Alliance (Jason Wander)
- Orphan’s Triumph (Jason Wander)
If you like these books then there are others available … but I have not read those … so let me know how that they work for you. I unintentionally read the last book in the series (Triumph); since I know how it all turns out I just did not have interest in going back and reading some of the other books.
From the official description of this book:
Mankind’s first alien contact tears into Earth: projectiles launched from Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, vaporize whole cities. Under siege, humanity gambles on one desperate counterstrike. In a spacecraft scavenged from scraps and armed with Vietnam-era weapons, foot soldiers like eighteen-year-old Jason Wander-orphans that no one will miss-must dare man’s first interplanetary voyage and invade Ganymede.
They have one chance to attack, one ship to attack with. Their failure is our extinction.
About saying Thank You:
… keep the thank you simple. Most veterans enjoy being told ‘thank you for your service’ and then most want to move on to a different topic. They generally do not want to get into old war stories. They do like to talk about their buddies. The most memorable part of military service, the part that you want to remember, is how much and how important the other people in uniform became to you when things got tough. Things being tough or bad didn’t matter so much as long as your buddies were there and were OK.
I’m still in contact with Army buddies that I met way back in 1974. We are fast friends forever.
My father was a Marine and my mother a Department of the Navy civilian.
I was graduating high school during the Vietnam War years. I wanted to go to college. My father said NO to helping me pay for college.
OK, so … the military offered college tuition if you joined. Being the son of a Marine I went down to talk to the USMC recruiter. He wasn’t in. That night I told my girlfriend and she went ballistic. NO, no, no … she said that I wasn’t going in the Marines … to set me straight she called a family friend that knew all about the military and asked him to call me.
Her friend was an Army recruiter. It never occured to her to ask how he knew so much about the military.
My father: John Henry Golden Sr, 1934-2001, Korean War Vet, USMC
I went on to serve in the U.S. Army from July 5, 1974-April 1, 1996.
When I was 12 I lived next door to a Navy family. The father served on a destroyer at Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida.
Each year they would have family day. The whole family was welcome to come aboard ship and they sailed several hours out to sea and then back. It was long enough that you got a full meal and lots of snacks out of it. They snuck me aboard as a ‘son’.
We were allowed to wander most of the ship without adult escort, to include wandering in and out of the messhall. I grew up eating very basic food without hardly any frills. The messhall had trays of donuts of all kinds and you could drink all the chocolate milk that you wanted — things which were unknown at my house. That was almost enough to convince me that the Navy offered opportunities.
Bill Golden sez:
You can now pick up a ‘drone’ at your 7-11 along with your cup of coffee and a doughnut.
The 7-11 convenience store at the corner of Dale Boulevard and Hoadly Road, Dale City, Virginia, now offers three kinds of drones for less than $99.
Despite the advertisement that these are professional grade drones, these drones are really just advanced toys with limited use — you get seven minutes of flight time on a good set of batteries. However, the drones look well built and durable and you can pick up the F-22 quadcopter drone for just $59.
Seven minutes of flight time — that’s a lot more than I once got with my rubberband balsawood airplanes!
BTW – No doughnuts were actually eaten during my visit to this 7-11 … just in case you are talking to my wife.