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South to Septentrion
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Fresh from the farm, Jeff Thompson isn't quite prepared for life in the United States Army. Jeff enlists to do his patriotic duty, but it isn't long before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor shatters America's calm existence. Jeff reaches the rank of staff sergeant and participates in war games to ready him for combat. While preparing to ship out to the Far East, he suffers a physical and emotional breakdown. He is guilt-ridden by an army psychologist' accusation that he is a draft dodger. After five years in the Army, Jeff is honorably discharged and returns to his home in Moscow, Idaho. Here he retreats farther into himself, ignoring his wife and newborn son. After living under the army's regimen for so long, Jeff is unable to cope with civilian life. He abandons his family and struggles to find his place in the world. Using his G.I. Bill, Jeff attends college and earns his teaching degree. Only through his new profession does he find a direction in life, enabling him to come to terms with his past and achieve healing.
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