1. The book begins with Sgt. First Class Jerry Zinsser, a decorated hero, experiencing a flashback. He’s reliving a battle fought in Somalia. He fights the battle his head. Do you think that makes it any less real for him?
2. Zinsser keeps his flashbacks secret from his new team. Why do you suppose he does that? Do you think it is typical of all people or just men like Zinsser?
3. Tess is a woman in a man’s world. As an analyst and instructor at the War College, do you think she faces unique challenges? What kind of things might she face that most women don’t?
4. Women have taken a more active role in the military than ever before. Some are soldiers, some work in intelligence, some--like Tess--work as an analyst and researcher. What roles do you think woman should play in the military?
5. J.J. and Tess are looking forward to their wedding when J.J. is called to mission. Tess, perhaps more than other women, knows what her fiance faces. Military life is tough on the loved ones who stay at home and wait. Do you know of someone who has family serving overseas? If so, what can you do to make their life a little easier?
6. J.J. is the Christian of the team. As such, he sees things from a different perspective. How easy is it, do you suppose, for a Christian to be a soldier and called upon to do the things J.J. must do.
7. J.J. attempts to explain his faith to Zinsser, who is angry at the world and at God for what happened to his previous team. Did J.J. do a good job, or did he mess things up?