I picked up the book, Jarhead, from my post’s library. The author, Anthony Swofford, is a veteran of the first Gulf war where he fought with the Marines.
Swofford is a talented writer. However, by his own admission, he was never meant to be a Marine. He says he knew it was a mistake from the get-go. I’m betting though, it made him a better and stronger person, despite the fact that he hated it. Hey, everyone hates Boot Camp. I despised it, and curse the existance of all Drill Instructors. But once your done, the rest of the Army can seem pretty easy by comparison. I guess there’s one good thing about it…
So Swafford’s book does what good art should: conveys emotion, making the reader feel like the author does. Unfortunately, Swafford is depressed and dislikes the Marines. Which of course makes the reader depressed and dislike the Marines. So I put the book down, and went on to reading Ralph Peters’ newest novel: The War After Armegeddon.
Some feelings are better left surpressed. Others should be cultivated. Being a depressed Soldier is even worse than being a depressed civilian. Read the Illiad and take a look at Achilles.