Review: Never The Same by B.C. Fleming
Publisher: Fleming Continuing Education Programs
Age recommendation: Young adult, Adult
On September 11, 2001, B.C. Fleming decided to join military service. He enlisted in the US Army when he was 18 years old and completed a stint in South Korea. When he returned, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division as a team leader in a reconnaissance platoon and was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He experienced several near death run-ins before he becoming seriously injured in late July, 2006 when the convoy he was traveling in was attacked by a suicide bomber who exploded three feet away from the door of his vehicle.
I enjoyed reading Never The Same. I loved reading the stories and wondering what drama is chronicled in the next page. I was given a glimpse into life as a deployed soldier in Afghanistan. Reading these real life stories gives you a whole new appreciation of the freedom and safety we so often take for granted. Unlike Brian and his comrades, we don’t have to be on our guard continually knowing that we can be shot at or blown up anytime.
What stuck on to me as I read Never The Same was how God preserved Brian’s life throughout his stint in Afghanistan. It is truly amazing how despite staring at the face of death again and again, God’s hand of protection was continually on him. Even though he was finally terribly injured and burned, God still preserved his life so that he could live to testify about it. In the beginning part of the book, he said that he do not consider himself a hero. He keeps to that by humbly retelling his experiences, without any frills.
Reading the book was like sitting through a Sunday sermon and hearing the minister divert from the story he is telling into some lesson points. As he narrates his experiences in Afghanistan, Brian frequently adds his thoughts and lessons learned. A few times, they were placed right in the middle of the story he was recounting and I thought that it would have been better if they had been placed at the end of the story so that there would be better flow in the story.
While I enjoyed Never The Same, it would have greatly benefited from better line editing. There could have been more coherency in the connection of the stories and stringing of the sentences from one to another. I even spotted a stray bracket somewhere in the middle of the book.
Despite the lack of proper editing, Never The Same is worth a read. Truth to be told, when I read about the pain Brian went through and listened to his testimony in YouTube, I shuddered. I don’t want to reveal spoilers here, but I can’t imagine ever enduring such excruciating pain. I thought that it is good Brian’s wife, Jamie, is given a chapter in the book. We are able to read how she felt after hearing the news about her husband’s injury.
Although the length of Never The Same isn’t long, it is deep. The book doesn’t end with the attack, but goes on to tell what happens afterwards. The honesty makes this real life story even more real. If you want to know the true story of life in Afghanistan and how a soldier who got blown up by a suicide bomber could forgive the man who tried to kill his life, read this mind-blowing account.
B.C. Fleming is a recipient of the Purple Heart. After surviving the suicide bomber’s attack, he went through reconstructive surgery and fourteen months of burn treatment and rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas and finished writing his book about his war experiences, Never The Same. Besides Never The Same, he has written four other books. Visit his website at www.blownupguy.com and Never The Same‘s website at www.neverthesamebook.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author through The B&B Media Group, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”