The Gulf Between

When these soldiers became writers, the pen becomes very mighty indeed

"People just don't understand how fucked-up and exhausting war is, even the everyday horror," Turnipseed says. "When I was on Fox and Friends, they said, 'You must be so proud right now to be a Marine.' My answer was this: Any time you do something as difficult as be a Marine, there's always a little pride in it, but it's always mixed, because in my case, I spent six weeks carrying bombs and then woke up one morning and was carrying the bombs. When you look out at a field of guys--the first camp I went to had 85,000 POWs, many of whom were still bleeding from the ears from the concussions of the bombs--the first word out of your mouth isn't, 'Wow, cool.' You have a deep sense of shame. Every soldier has a deep sense of shame, so I said, 'Pride and shame are always mixed.' They looked at me like I just shit in my chair."

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