READ THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK!
If you really want to know and to understand what the old west was like, and what the young men went through in those days, then We Pointed Them North by E.C. (Teddy Blue) Abbot is the book to read. If you ever think that you've got it tough, then read this book. You'll never complain again.
This is the nuts and bolts of western life, from Texas to Wyoming and Montana on those long cattle drives. You'll understand stampedes as you've never understood them before. You'll learn more cowboy lore in one chapter than you thought you learned in your whole life. It's Texas and the west in the 1880s. It's life in the raw, a hard life, but those men who lived it made this country what it is today.
It should re required reading in every school. It'll expose this sloppiness that's going on, and it might even help cure some of it. Why, I've not even lived 10% of what those boys went through, and my life seems to have been ten times as hard as the kids experience today. How would most of them survive?
Yet, when you think of our men in Iraq, there are those who come through with flying colors when the going gets tough. I'll bet those guys over there would understand what Teddy Blue told us when he wrote that book. Read it, and recommend it. It's that type of story. It might not be easy to find, as it was published a few years back, but it is worth the effort.