According to the book description of Escaping Death's Sting: A Combat
Marines Life Story, "The most compelling way to learn to love anything
is to realize how close you are to losing it. How deep into the depths of
despair must author Joel Lee Russell descend before he learns to open his body,
mind and soul to the magnificence of devotion and faith? After surviving a
tortured childhood, Russell's challenges continue when he arrives in Vietnam
during the height of the Tet Offensive. While Russell's outfit of Marines
dwindles from 250 men to 79 in a matter of four hours, he beseeches God to save
him and promises to dedicate his life, from that moment on, to something greater
than himself. Even though we think we are eager to learn our lessons and to
improve ourselves, the training we endure is often complicated and challenging.
After Joel Lee Russell, nicknamed Last Days Joel, repeatedly escapes death's
sting, he opens himself to a divine beauty that soars beyond his belief."