I'm two-thirds of the way through reading "Once An Eagle". I would love opinions from those who have read it/love it as to its most significant lesson and/or message. (Without spoilers, hopefully, since I'm not done yet!) I think I'm not getting it - aside from Sad Sam Damon versus Courtney Massengale. I'll never recover from what Massengale did to his pet squirrel! Textbook sociopath written in 1968, before the topic of sociopathic behavior was covered like it is these days. That aside, obviously Damon is a more admirable person than Massengale. Even so, he sacrificed a great deal of his personal life - his wife, children and career - to pursue his sense of justice? Which wasn't necessarily patriotism, because he became quite jaded regarding the 'powers that be'. He felt his purpose was to protect his troops? So, my question. Why is this recommended reading for Service Academies?