Veterans’ Day special

The Austin American-Statesman is running this article of mine tomorrow about an American soldier from Texas who didn’t make it out of Iraq alive, along with over 4,000 of his comrades (and who knows how many Iraqis and other soldiers of how many nationalities). A few of his e-mails to his wife made their way to the pages of the New York Times, where Austin musician Elana James, of the band Hot Club of Cowtown, read them and set one of them to music.

It was one of those stories where I really didn’t know where I was going with it until I went ahead and wrote it, as if the subject matter took me over and said, “Write this — I know what you need to say.”

It’s understandable that there’s been so much focus on the election and its aftermath lately — and it’s good to know Hope isn’t just a town in Arkansas anymore, and Chicago isn’t just the former stomping grounds of Richard Daley and Al Capone — but let’s not forget those guys over there, no matter what you think about the purpose and justification of the Iraq war. At least we’re on the downslope now.

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