Guam Mentions: Jack Reacher



Sen kinene’ yu’ ni i lepblon Jack Reader siha. Esta matuge’ 19, ya hu taitai todu. Para u huyong i 20th gi este na sakkan, ya (taiguihi masangan gi fino’ Ingles) hu tutufong i ha’ani siha estaki i nina’huyong-na.

In the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Childs, the protagonist travels across the United States (and occasionally France and the UK) righting wrongs in small and big towns. He is driven by a very personal and powerful sense of justice and vengeance which usually leads him to get involved in conflicts that aren’t his own. Over the course of the novels he fights gun runners, mobsters, CIA agents, Islamic terrorists, cowboys, crooked cops and sovereign citizen groups.

Part of the reason why I really enjoy his exploits is because it feels familiar to me. For a long time I wasn’t sure why. I don’t travel from one end of the US to the other righting many wrongs (I’m always busy obsessing over wrongs here in Guam anyways). I don’t live the wanderlusty life that Reacher does, without much possessions, only owning the clothes on him and a travel toothbrush in his pocket. Eventually I did realize however why things were so familiar, it was actually the militarization of his life, the traces of military service and the imprint it had on his thinking and his actions that made me feeling connected to it. While serving as an MP, Reacher was trained and given a number of skills that still serve him well long after he left the military. He makes constant reference to his history in the military, bases around the world that he lived and was stationed at. It was in this context that The Jack Reacher books mention, albeit briefly, Guam. As a fan of both Guam and Jack Reacher, I look forward to the day when Lee Child writes a short story mentioning a random experience Reacher had in Guam during the time his family lived there. Perhaps a story of him wrestling giant brown tree snakes?

Here are the two Guam Mentions found in the Jack Reacher books:

From: Echo Burning:

 School, the center of her universe. He thought about it. When he was six and a half. The war in Vietnam was still well below its peak, but it was already big enough that his father was there or thereabouts at the time. So he figured that year would have been split between Guam and Manila. Manila, mostly, he thought, judging by his memories of the buildings and the vegetation, the places he hid out in and played around.

From Persuader:

Then I found a chisel. It was a woodworking item. It had a half-inch blade and a nice ash handle. It was probably seventy years old. I hunted around and found a carborundum whetstone and a rusty can of sharpening fluid. Dabbed some fluid on the stone and spread it with the tip of the chisel. Worked the steel back and forth until it showed bright. One of the many high schools I went to was an old-fashioned place in Guam where shop was graded by how well you did with the scut work, like sharpening tools. We all scored high. It was the kind of accomplishment we were interested in. That class had the best knives I ever saw. 


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