From Baghdad to America: Life after War for a Marine and His Rescued Dog
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Here, for the first time, Kopelman holds nothing back as he responds to the question, “Why did you save a dog instead of a person?” The answer reveals much about his inner demons—and about the bigger picture of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He talks about what it’s like to return to the States and examines the shocking statistics to come out of Iraq: Depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, and broken relationships are at record highs for the men and women who serve there. Kopelman credits Lava with helping him to endure combat and the pain of war, as well as helping him deal with the surprising difficulties of returning to everyday life. Civilians have a hard time understanding what being a Marine means, and the adjustment to living among them is hard for these soldiers. This book attempts to shed light on that for all readers.
it was like. The local news didn’t divulge that sort of information, which left me feeling helpless, unable to do anything except make snide comments. I could only call these Americans weak and pitiable, which of course didn’t go over too well with my girlfriend. On the commute to your air-conditioned office here, you don’t see the burned and charred corpses of what were once human beings piled in the bed of what was once a pickup truck. You don’t drive over the headless remains of a bloated
the mask with your right hand. (What really happens is you drop the headgear on the ground, er, deck.) Grasp the facepiece with both hands, sliding your thumbs up inside the facepiece under the lower head harness straps. Lift your chin slightly. (Just put the fucker on, dammit!) Seat the chin pocket of the facepiece firmly on the chin. Bring head harness smoothly over head, ensuring that the head harness straps are straight and the head pad is centered. Smooth the edges of the facepiece on
Is he reliving the experience of hearing someone knock on a door just before an RPG hit the building where he was living? I don’t know what triggers these reactions, but I can assure you they’re very unsettling, and it’s all I can do to calm him. 4. The presence of hyperactivity: Hyper? Who? Lava? 5. A tendency to behave aggressively under minimal provocation: Would this be Lava running up to the first dog he sees at the park and accosting him for no reason? You and I would be locked
simply sees everyone—dogs included—as the enemy and a threat to yours truly, his savior and best friend (even if he thinks I’m a moron he can outsmart on most days). Lava is not just this way with dogs. He can sense fear and trepidation in people, too. One of my best friends, whom I’ll call Otis, is not a dog lover by any stretch of the imagination, so when he first met Lava you can imagine it wasn’t a meeting of the mutual admiration society. Lava was not particularly gracious when Otis finally
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