Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (05/15)
In “Fall In, Fall Out” by Joseph Crew, seventeen-year-old twins Joe and Dick Crew are tired of high school and tired of the cold war that their parents are engaged in at home. Getting their parent’s permission to enter the army at age 17, they head over to Germany where they are stationed together. Written from the author’s perspective, both boys grow up pretty quickly as they engage in military life. They experience the hardships that come with being enlisted in the military while living abroad and find that life isn’t always fair even if you try to do what is right. These lessons help shape the decisions that they make for their future.
The boys also learn about love and sex, and that the two are not necessarily related. When Joe meets an innocent fifteen-year-old girl named Barbara, he falls head over heels in love. No matter where he finds life taking him, she is always in his thoughts. As he goes through the trials of his life, he fears that there will come a point where he will not be able to see her again. This fear helps him to learn how to focus on making responsible choices that will enable them to reunite and share their future together.
I really enjoyed reading “Fall In, Fall Out” by Joseph Crew. The memoir taught me more about life in the military during the Cold War than I learned in History classes in high school. Seeing this era through the eyes of the author brought the story to life and made it very real. His attention to detail and willingness to share the areas of his life where he felt most vulnerable made this book an excellent read. I highly recommend it to people who enjoy military memoirs and college students who are taking history classes.