Reading for a Lifetime Together

From Baghdad, with Love
April 11, 2012, 3:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Matthew Stehnach

From Baghdad, With Love is a true story written while in Iraq by a United States Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman. Although the book starts off as just another book on the ugliness of war it completely changes when the marines find a dog. However, Under General Order 1-A, they are not to keep pets or mascots or to care for or feed any type of domestic or wild animals. Jay Kopelman knows he can’t keep the dog, but he can’t help but risk breaking the rules with Lava, the name in which they gave the dog. When they first found the puppy, they could have left him to fend for himself or killed him. But as Jay Kopelman says, The Marines are “Warriors, yes – puppy killers, no.”

The protection in which is shown in this book is amazing, imagining that Jay Kopelman and the other marines would go through all of the trouble to safely ship the dog back to the United States is slightly comical, but only goes to show how much love they had for this dog.

Although most of the quotes in this book are depressing it is also true, one of these sticks out in my mind deeply. The news media asks, “What would you tell people who might suggest your time would have been better spent saving people instead of a dog?” Jay never answered this question, but said he was thinking, “Why wasn’t my time spent helping people instead of a puppy? I don’t know, and I don’t care, but at least I saved something.”

This point is proven, but also depressing, that they truly could be helping actual people as some say as well, but this also determines on the way in which you consider animals, whether they count as family or not.

Overall, This was my favorite of the four books I read. I think anyone who has ever had a pet knows what it is like, the love and care in which you give for that animal. One such quote sticks in my mind, “…the best part is how these Marines, these elite, well-oiled machines of war who in theory can kill another human being in a hundred unique ways, become mere mortals in the presence of a tiny mammal.” Showing how cold blooded marines and people can be, such a small animal can change everything and make you really feel.  I give this book four and three fourths stars only due to the graphic language that is used through out the book which is the only reason that younger children shouldn’t read this book. How is it that soldiers don’t end up with post-traumatic stress syndrome? When all they are doing is killing and seeing death? How do they keep their sanity? From Baghdad, With Love is a great example of this.


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