Survivor, Marine, Man of God: One Man’s Incredible Journey to Inner Peace

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The Guide: Survival, Warfighting, Peacemaking by Greg Munck

There’s a unique beginning to The Guide: Survival, Warfighting, Peacemaking — Greg Munck‘s moving and uplifting memoir of his fascinating journey that took him from a nightmarish childhood to becoming a war hero as a U.S. Marine and finally finding peace in his life’s work as a man of God.

The book opens with a dramatic forward from Munck’s longtime friend, a man named Kenny Luck, who introduces the author to readers as “the complex Renaissance man I call my friend, Greg Munck, USMC ret., one of the greatest human beings I know walking planet Earth.”

“It is most honest to introduce The Guide to you in this way,” Luck writes. “Prepare to let your blood boil, your heart break and your inner person feel encouraged by the triumph of the human spirit in the midst of life’s most unwelcome, uncontrollable and unbelievable events.”

As it turns out, this introduction sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the book in which Munck tells us his wildly improbably story of success and salvation.

He begins by recounting a terribly troubled childhood in which he grew up with a drunk, drug-addicted father who forced Munck to use cocaine with him at the age of 13; was frequently in trouble with the law and in jail; and disappeared from the family for long periods of time to satisfy his addictions.

But Munck survives all this and really begins to turn his life around when he joins the Marines after high school. In fact, the title of The Guide comes in part from an incident that happened to him as a young Marine.

“My book is called The Guide because I was the platoon leader in Marine Corps boot camp,” Munck writes. “You carry the platoon flag with the platoon number on it, called “the guidon,” so in turn, that makes you the guide.”

Munck tells a dramatic story about how a tough drill sergeant told him he was worthless as a Marine and screamed at him to spit on the Marine platoon flag. Munck refused, even though the drill sergeant threatened him with a court martial for defying a direct order. “No, sir! I won’t spit on our flag, our platoon, our family, our corps and our country! No matter what you do! No, sir, I won’t do it!”

He said the drill sergeant then hugged him like a proud father. It had been a test. And Munck had passed the test with flying colors. “That’s why you’re the guide!” the drill sergeant said.

Later, we also find out that The Guide also refers to Munck’s acceptance and embrace of Christianity in his life.

After boot camp, Munck embarks on a weeks long boat trip with other Marines to the Iraqi war front; serves admirably in combat as a Marine; returns to the U.S. after his discharge and gets a high-paying job with a technology company; and marries the woman he loves and raises five children with her.

But during those early years after the Marines, Munck still felt something was missing for him — and he finally found it in God and his Christian religion. He eventually left his high-paying job to work with the church — first as a youth counselor, then as a full-time minister. Today he is the pastor of his own church in Southern California.

Throughout the book, Munck talks about the importance of his Christian religion in his life’s travels — and it includes numerous quotes from and about Jesus and God and verses from the Bible. Munck makes it clear this has been the most important aspect of his life, the thing that helped him go from his sad childhood to the life he has managed to live now. As he says himself so eloquently at the end of the book:

“Life doesn’t always go as planned, and some of the most memorable things in life that happen to us are both good and bad. When life throws you a detour, don’t miss what you can learn from it. We seem to grow the most through the toughest times. And who knows? Maybe your craziest story could be the thing that blesses someone else, or at least makes them laugh. There is one thing that stands out the most on the wonderful journey of writing this book: how God’s hand has been guiding me and providing for me every step of the way — even when I was far from Him. I hope you see that too and know that God has a plan for your life.”

This is a heartwarming story of perseverance, determination and faith by a man who seemingly had all the cards stacked against him in life but came out a winner. 

 Survival, Warfighting, Peacemaking by Greg Munck

Genre: Nonfiction

Author: Greg Munck

Page Count: 281 pages

Publisher: The Core Media Group Inc.

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