Daily Archives: July 29, 2015

Once an Eagle: A Classic Novel of Military Life

Dear Friends of Padre Steve’s World

It has been another long day, thankfully my wife Judy is doing better and hopefully will be discharged from the hospital on Friday following her surgery. In her absence I have been at home with our two Papillon pups, Minnie and Izzy. Over the past couple of nights I have been doing some reflecting and in doing so have been watching the mini-series from the 1970s “Once and Eagle” which is based on the novel of the same name by Anton Myrer. The book is considered the American “War and Peace.”

I think what attracts me to the movie and the book is the sacrifice made by military spouses. When I think about all the joys, as well as the hardships, the family separations as well as sometimes my own misplaced priorities, which I see in the character of Sam Damon I again realize just how great Judy’s as well as other military spouses sacrifices are. For Judy, that has meant sharing me with the Army and the Navy for almost 34 years. Thankfully, Lord willing we are looking at retirement in about two years.

Anyway, I have two babies on me and need to close for the night. Maybe tomorrow I will put up an article that has been ruminating for the past couple of days.


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“This classic novel of soldiers and soldiering ranks with Red Badge of Courage and All Quite on the Western Front as time-tested epics of war and warriors.”— John W. Vessey, Jr., Gen., US Army (Ret.)

Sam Damon (Sam Elliot) cries over a fallen friend

Tonight I started watching the NBC television mini-series adaptation of Anton Myrer’s classic novel of war military life and love Once an Eagle on DVD. I had been hoping to find the series on video or DVD for years and it was released again last year. I was introduced to the book through the series which I saw in High School when it came out in 1976. Back then I never missed an episode. I found the story which weaves the life of a soldier who rises from the ranks named Sam Damon who is played by Sam Elliott and a self-serving careerist named Courtney Massengale…

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