A peripatetic but touching spiritual autobiography by a believer with a divine destiny.
Mack’s life hangs together along a string of near-death experiences and divine missions. And these two pieces—the near-misses and the missions—are closely related, because he believes that since his birth, God has had a plan for him. Mack, a “Eurasian-American” with Japanese roots, is raised the only child of a single mother in Hawaii in the years following the Pearl Harbor bombing. A rabble-rouser as a child, he nonetheless finds his discipline and his drive in high school and eventually channels that energy into a long military career that begins in the ROTC at UCLA. Though it relates much of his adolescence and his later years, the memoir’s central narrative focuses on Mack’s time in the military. He completes his Ranger training in Georgia, cuts his teeth in Germany and fights in Southeast Asia during the hottest years of the Vietnam War. His exemplary service earns him a promotion to the rank of full colonel by the age of 41. Mack’s army career is the beating heart of his memoir, and he provides a bracing, honest portrait of military life, full of the valuable details that only an experienced veteran can provide. Throughout all the years of fighting, God watches over Mack, preserving and protecting him, preparing him for a peace-time career as an advocate for the handicapped and a supporter of growing churches. He tells his life story—from toddlerhood to graying age—with an unselfconscious humility that gives his tales a homey charm, and his memoir is eminently readable from start to finish. At times, his autobiography feels a bit too homespun, and some of his narratives trail off into odd non sequiturs. But even this meandering makes up part of the book’s undeniable charm.
A heartfelt testimony to the power of service, strength and faith.