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From Baghdad, with Love


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The true story of a mischievous abandoned puppy who wins the hearts of a group of battle-hardened Marines. It will melt your heart.

About the Author

Jay Kopelman was a lieutenant colonel in the US Marine Corps, stationed at Camp Pendleton in La Jolla, CA. He began his military career in 1986, and transferred to the Marine Corps in 1991. In September, 2004, he deployed to Iraq for six months, and in November, he and his battalion entered Fallujah and fought for the city. Jay Kopelman's website can be found at Melinda Roth is a journalist and is the author of The Man Who Talks to Dogs.


The news from Iraq keeps getting grimmer, but Iraq veteran Kopelman and journalist Roth (The Man Who Talks to Dogs) tell a tale of radiant joy about Kopelman's efforts to safely transport Lava, the stray dog his Marine unit found in the wreckage of Fallujah, back to the U.S. Though the premise sounds cloying, Kopelman and Roth eschew sentimentality. They don't hesitate to detail the corruption of the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. military bureaucracy or the extreme hardships of the Iraqi people. Kopelman's nagging qualms about keeping the dog in violation of military orders throw into relief his efforts to repress his guilt over working so hard to save a dog amid so much human suffering. Most bracing are the frank descriptions of the war's moral vacuum, where terrified men and women like the dogs that Iraqi insurgents strap with bombs and send charging into the enemy are driven to commit unspeakable acts they cannot possibly understand. The story of Lava's journey out of Iraq is exciting, but it's to Kopelman and Roth's credit that it's not nearly as harrowing as the story of what the dog left behind. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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