In 2005, First Sergeant Charles Monroe King began to write what would become a two-hundred-page journal for his son in case he did not make it home from the war in Iraq. Charles King, forty-eight, was killed on October 14, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated under his Humvee on an isolated road near Baghdad. His son, Jordan, was seven months old.
A Journal for Jordan is a motherâs letter to her sonâfierce in its honestyâabout the father he lost before he could even speak. It is also a fatherâs advice and prayers for the son he will never know.
A father figure to the soldiers under his command, Charles moved naturally into writing to his son. In neat block letters, he counseled him on everything from how to withstand disappointment and deal with adversaries to how to behave on a date. And he also wrote, from his tent, of recovering a young soldierâs body, piece by piece, from a tankâand the importance of honoring that young manâs life. He finished the journal two months before his death while home on a two-week leave, so intoxicated with love for his infant son that he barely slept.
Finally, this is the story of Dana and Charles togetherâtwo seemingly mismatched souls who loved each other deeply. She was a Pulitzer Prizeâwinning editor for the New York Times who struggled with her weight. He was a decorated military officer with a sculpted body who got his news from television. She was impatient, brash, and cynical about love. He was excruciatingly shy and stubborn, and put his military service before anything else. In these pages, we relive with Dana the slow unfolding of their love, their decision to become a family, the chilling news that Charles has been deployed to Iraq, and the birth of their son.
In perhaps the most wrenching chapter in the book, Dana recounts her search for answers about Charlesâs death. Unsatisfied with the armyâs official version of what happened and determined to uncover the truth