While safety and peace seem like they should be birthrights, some of us are born into situations that simply don’t allow for these niceties. With a father who sold drugs and a mother who depended on them, the world felt anything but calm to author Mathew Chase.
Growing up in one of the toughest parts of Philadelphia, Mathew learned things in his first few years of life that most of us never have to learn, like how to survive hunger when there’s no food in the house and no one there to notice . . . how not to cry or show fear while being beat with a shoe by a foster parent . . . how to mask any signs of vulnerability when passing the dealers and gangsters on the street . . . or how to fight when one or a bunch of kids jump you on your way home from school.
Somehow, Mathew knew he had a choice. He could conform to the status quo and become a victim of the mentality generated by this environment, or he could find a way to break free and build a different kind of life. Joining the U.S. military at age 18 as an exit route from what he’d known forever seemed like a promising solution, but it carried an exacting price tag of its own.
Mathew’s childhood began to seem like it had been easy compared to the brutality of training and fighting in Iraq while witnessing the slaying of friends who had become like brothers. Would Mathew ever find home? Follow the author’s journey through seemingly endless challenges and failures to understand how these selfsame circumstances mold him into a mature and courageous man. In Finding Home, pain and heartbreak are transformed to what they truly are – stepping stones to ultimate strength and personal freedom.
I would like to say a little bit more about the character Braun. His passing affected me deeply. I allowed myself to mourn for four days. After that I had to put it behind me while we were still deployed. You can’t carry that kind of weight around while you’re on missions.
I remember it feeling like it had happened so fast. It would be this situation that would strengthen my faith in a God or a higher power. I felt that if lives could be taken that fast, that it had to stand for something. There has to be something more after this. It can’t be just for nothing.
It has also changed the way I believe we should allow the passing’s of close ones to effect us. Death is mostly mourned in today’s world. I believe it should be the opposite. Death should be celebrated, maybe even looked at as freedom from a life that was hard and enduring. It gives me comfort to believe that our loved ones are resting in peace.