About the title

Update: I just bought and registered the bastardsandbrothers.com domain name. So that worked out! Quite a while ago, I changed the book’s title to “Bastards & Brothers” because of feedback I got directly from several 3/2 vets.

My initial working title was “Stormquellers”, which had specific meanings behind it. For a time, the battalion motto was “Quell the Storm. Ride the Thunder,” which comes from a famous speech by Theodore Roosevelt (the “Man in the Arena” speech). And for me, that imagery of quelling a storm — the oncoming storm of violence from AQI and foreign fighters streaming in from Syria — had significance I could build on. Certainly one way to understand 3/2’s role in 2005 is to see the battalion as holding off AQI’s onslaught until more coalition resources arrived.

“Stormquellers” is also a very unique word, which I felt would be memorable and could help set the book apart. I’m also partial to one-word titles, which you can tell from many of the chapter names.

But after talking to several Marines (particularly Jon Maines and a couple other WarPig vets), I could tell that being “Betio Bastards” was a deep point of pride, tradition and unity among 3/2 vets. That needed to be highlighted.

Getting “Betio” into the title was tougher since that word is completely foreign to most readers — even military ones. It’s also basically un-pronounceable to 99% of people, so it putting it in the title was a no-go. (BTW, it comes from the battalion’s WWII history, and it rhymes with “ratio”).

But putting “brothers” in there was a natural choice, and carries a powerful message. One of the big themes that has come across from many Marines I’ve spoken and chatted with is the deep connections they had, and still have, with each other. They truly consider themselves as brothers and use that word often with each other. There are many parts of the book that reflect that.

So, soon the URL of this website will be changed to bastardsandbrothers.com


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