This is as far as I've gotten in this re-write. Still tinkering, coming up with new material, but I have no beta readers right now and need some idea of how it's looking to others.
"Oh, great story" is a nice thing to hear, but what I really want to hear is "here's what you're not doing right and how to write it better". The few times I've let others read my stuff, I get a lot of compliments, but little actual critique. Compliments are nice, I like hearing them; I'd also really like to know what I can do to improve the story.
Some of the bits require a lot of exposition, and can be difficult to write into natural conversation. Some parts would make sense to military folks, but also be littered with acronyms and impenetrable to civilians, so it has to be translated. After 20 years in, I may not fully translate some things to civilian terms. I'm also anal about my editing, and have held a lot of stuff for years because I kept trying to edit before writing new material. I'm trying not to get stuck on that.
So, anyway, please critique. I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you don't want to post a critique here. Put Star Trek or Four Years War or something obvious like that in the subject so I can rescue it from my spam filter. Thanks in advance!