Tag: Iraq War

Playing Soldiers

The World’s Only Corn Palace was crowded on this post–Independence Day weekend when I visited to see it thank me for my service. An estimated half-million tourists a year trek to Mitchell, South Dakota, to admire the odd, onion-domed sports and concert venue, which is decorated in byzantine “crop art” mosaics: Each year, the building’s […]

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The Sum of All Beards

“Saigon … shit. I’m still only in Saigon,” says a scruffy, broken Capt. Benjamin Willard, peering out through slatted window blinds while on the violent bender that opens Apocalypse Now. “Every time I think I’m going to wake up back in the jungle.” But when we see the Special Forces assassin travel deep into that […]

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Who Actually Wants War Criminals Pardoned?

On first glance, it’s hard to see who would support pardons for these men. Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher was reported to his commanders by seven of the Navy SEALs who served under him in Iraq, where they witnessed him “[s]tabbing a defenseless teenage captive to death. Picking off a school-age girl and an old […]

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The Audacity of Grief

It is easy to count the dead, harder to count the grieving. One has to estimate. Every year, almost one percent of the American population dies. The most recent available official count, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System, is for the year 2017: 2,813,503 registered deaths. Looking at the […]

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