Bennett is a 55 years old Private with 40 years of combat service who, upon reenlisting, volunteered to serve upon P.U.V. James Keeling.
Bennett enlisted when he was 15 years old. He admitted that his father had connections in the military and convinced them to admit him because of his size. They lied on his entrance forms but when he turned 18 years old, they went back and corrected his records.
After serving 20 years (5 tours), Bennett left the service and settled down on Earth in the city of Fort Worth, Texas. He lived on his own for 2 months but soon became disillusioned without the hierarchy and structure provided by the service. He became physically inactive, leading him to gain weight and also had trouble sleeping at night. During these bouts of insomnia, he would remember the horrific things he did to survive while in battle. Bennett soon reenlisted in the service, which didn’t afford him the time to consider the acts he had done to stay alive.
Initially the recruiter in charge of handling Bennett’s case was hesitant to allow him to reenlist. Statistically, 15% of new recruits washed out at boot camp and of those who didn’t 5% died in battle or accidents and another 10% suffered career ending wounds. At the end of their first tour of duty, 50% left the service and of the remaining population only 20% would go on to shoot for 20 years of service and only then it was to achieve a career goal. Against those odds, Bennett had served five tours and was still a Private. Not to mention that most reenlistments were for people who were in their early twenties, while Bennett was ten years past the mandatory non-combat age. However, Sgt. Maya Whittaker came to understand that it would be a disservice not to let him live out his years as a marine.
Bennett is described a model service man dressed in a well-pressed uniform. Being over 50 years old, he’s described as having crow’s feet (or wrinkles) at the edges of his eyes. Despite his age, he is described as being in great shape and is likened to a solid block of granite. He is further described as having a square jaw with an overall look that made him seem as if he could be on a recruiting poster.
Bennett is a die-hard military man who has spent over 80% of his life in service to the Planetary Union. This extraordinary lengthy time in the service shapes his personality to large degree. He is so accustomed to the rigid structure of the military that he became lost when he left the service. Coming back to the service reestablished his personality. Bennett is very aware that the one thing he excels at is being a marine. He implores the recruiter to allow him to reenlist so he can die a marine. Ultimately, Bennett volunteers for a two year tour on the P.U.V. James Keeling, welcoming the challenge of battle and the eventual honor of death in service.
Fan Based Character
The character of John Bennett is named after the devoted junkie by the same name pictured at the left. This dedicated junkie can be found as an active member on the official Scott Sigler website forums under the user name of redhedtexan.