The Ragged Edge by Michael Zacchea. Published by Chicago Press

After September 11, Americans were screaming for some sort of justice, and the government obliged, by sending troops into Afghanistan, then Iraq, with seemingly no goals, objectives or real planning. In September of 2004,  marine Michael Zacchea was sent to Iraq to train and command the first  civilian Iraqi battalion.  He was not taught to speak any local dialects or taught any local customs , given outdated, outmoded equipment and left to fend for himself. And what a task,; these men speak little or no English and haven’t got even the most basic equipment, like boots or uniforms. For Zacchea it as sink or swim time, so he made the decision to get to know the people he was training, learn their language, their culture, their belief systems and  as a result, he was rewarded by the respect of the men he was training – he was even inducted into a local Sunni tribe. Zacchea is the best of America, a man willing to put his life on the life for his beliefs and principles, but also a man who understands that other voices, other beliefs, are equally as important to other people.  Whether you believe the United States should be involved in this conflict or not, you will be moved by the grace and strength of this man

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