I was in the army for 8 years.
I put myself through sixteen weeks in Hell at the Infantry School in Georgia. I was eaten alive by mosquitoes the size of your average USB thumb drive in the swamps of Louisiana. I froze in the unimaginable cold in Germany, and I ruined my body as a Paratrooper.
And this was all outside of Iraq.
I've been shot, stabbed, and blown up. I'm not trying to get sympathy or praise, I assure you. The point I'm trying to make is that I sympathize with the protagonist of this book, because if I was willing to sacrifice so much of myself for a country who only gives their soldiers lip service, why, in what would no doubt be the worst and final event in human history, would I not want to continue on?
What would be so wrong by making sure that if we were all about to die, there would be just a tiny sliver of dignity left behind?
I would take to the streets, and defend the people as best as I could in the short time I'd have left. In a time like that, there would be crime on a scale we couldn't even imagine. People would need protection. I thought, in Iraq, that I was going to die for my country.
God willing, I'm going to die an old man with my family there to send me off. But if this situation would come to pass, I think it would be good to go out doing something noble.
Josh Perez is a Graphic Designer from Austin Texas. He spent 8 years in the US Army, spending 39 months total in Iraq. He lives in Austin with his two sons and his dog Goldie. Photo via (http://bit.ly/TXo6HB)