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Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman won the hearts of readers everywhere with his moving story of adopting an abandoned puppy named Lava from a hellish corner of Iraq. He opened the door for other soldiers to bring dogs home, and in From Baghdad to America, Kopelman once again leads the pack with his observations on the emotional repercussions of war. 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.
When Marines enter an abandoned house in Fallujah, Iraq, and hear a suspicious noise, they clench their weapons, edge around the corner, and prepare to open fire. What they find during the U.S.-led attack on "the most dangerous city on Earth" in late 2004, however, is not an insurgent but a puppy left behind when most of the city's residents fled. Despite military law forbidding pets, the Marines de-flea the pup with kerosene, de-worm him with chewing tobacco, and fill him up on Meals Ready to Eat. Thus begins the dramatic rescue of a dog named Lava and Lava's rescue of at least one Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman, from the emotional ravages of war. From hardened soldiers to wartime journalists to endangered Iraqi citizens,From Baghdad, With Love tells the unforgettable true story of an unlikely band of heroes who learn unexpected lessons about life, death, and war from a mangy little flea-ridden refugee.