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Terrence Popp is quite a character.
If you watch his Redonkulas episodes over on YouTube regularly (which I do), then you will see that he comes across as something of a roaring asshole. He is very sarcastic, very blunt, doesn't give a damn about your feelings, and takes absolutely no prisoners while he breaks down the stupidities and insanities of our modern world using maths and logic.
He has no patience whatsoever for idiots, fatties, losers, and especially feminists. (Lord, forgive me my redundancies.) And if you judge Popp purely by what you see on his YouTube channel, you will get a rather skewed and deeply inaccurate picture of the man.
I recently introduced a young Russian-American girl that I know to his work. Her response? "He seems like an angry creep".
She changed her mind in an awfully big hurry when I told him what Popp has actually done.
The real Terrence Popp is rather more than the almost cartoon character that we see (and love) in those videos.
You will see the more human, but still very forthright, version of Popp in his "Live From The Lair" series. The latest one (as of this writing) gives you some idea of just what he has been through in his life. His has been a special kind of Hell, and he has endured it and come through the other side a stronger, wiser, and far more dangerous man for it.
And several years ago, Popp poured all of the lessons that he had learned into a book, The Warrior's Way and the Soldier's Soul.
Fair warning: this is NOT a happy book. If you are looking for a light, fun read without a serious message, don't bother picking it up.
If, however, you are interested in seeing what a man becomes when he faces his own daemons; when he is shattered and melted down and forged anew in the crucible of war; when he sees his entire world torn apart by the very people and government that he swore an oath to protect and defend with his life and then has to rebuild almost from scratch; when he faces Death staring at him from the barrel of his own service weapon and forces himself to put his gun down and continue living...
Well, then this is a book that you need to read.
It doesn't really matter that the book is riddled with errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. That's just Popp's way of writing. He is dyslexic- "I have lysdexia", as he and Blake are fond of telling us in his videos- and this is reflected in the raw, unfiltered nature of the text itself.
What matters is the content- and that content is pure unvarnished tell-it-like-it-is truth.
This book is the story of one man's journey through Hell and back, told through personal anecdotes, philosophical musings, and simple logical deductions. It consists of roughly 140 or so simple epigrams and aphorisms of wisdom which Popp then expands upon, one at a time, to explain exactly what he means and where he is coming from.
And when you read through it, you will understand exactly where Popp's sarcastic, IDGAF persona in his videos comes from.
Popp started out as the child of a poor single mother. He joined the Army, completed Ranger training, and jumped feet first right into the hell of war in Panama. He came back from war and became a kickboxer, taking on guys with far more experience than he had with a mixture of technical skill, raw power, and balls-out aggression. Somewhere along the way he also became a Green Beret, started up his own business, and did two more tours of duty.
But the gods were not done sending him to Hell. In his last tour he picked up a traumatic brain injury- and while he was recovering from that ordeal, trying to piece his mind and his life back together, he discovered that his wife was cheating on him.
She didn't just divorce him. She took away his daughters. She shot and killed his dog. She used his own military service against him to paint him as a vicious and violent man in front of the family court judge.
It is only when you see and understand these things, and only when you read them as relayed by the hand of the man himself, that you begin to understand why he is the way he is.
And that is precisely what happened to that young Russian devushka. She realised that she had misjudged the man, and that the indignant anger toward women that she saw in his videos was in fact the entirely justified sentiment of a man who has been screwed over repeatedly by a world that pedestalises women and trashes men.
Popp has faced trials that would have broken lesser men. He has conquered them all. And he is with us today to pass on the hard-won lessons of his life to the generations of men that follow.
This is not the kind of book that you can read by the beach or as "light entertainment". There is nothing "entertaining" about it. About the closest equivalent that I can think of is Ernst Junger's In Stahlgewittern (Storm of Steel). This book, like that one, is written by a warrior- not merely a soldier, a warrior- for whom war was both the worst, and in many ways the best, experience of his life.
Such men are defined by what they have seen and done. They are marked by war, altered forever with no hope of going back to the innocent men that they once were. Their bodies are battered and torn, but the wounds run far deeper than the merely physical; they know that at some level their very souls are broken and stained red with the blood that they have spilled.
Yet they soldier on regardless, living and fighting for the rest of us, leading by example where they can, carrying their brothers with them.
Reading this book gives you the sense that Popp is that kind of man. Not merely a soldier, but a warrior, in every sense of the word.
And if you want to support his work and help keep his videos up on YouTube and other platforms, then take a look over at Amazon and purchase his book here.