Army medic Nicholas Walker returned home from Iraq after 250 combat missions, traumatized and broken. His friends and family couldn’t help him. Therapy couldn’t help him. Heroin couldn’t help him. Pulling bank heists helped him.
Luc and I are sitting in one of the bunkers at the governor’s palace downtown. The marines are watching the streets outside the wire. The city around here has been destroyed. The buildings are broken and crumbling. Walls are gone. There are no windows, only holes. Roofs have collapsed and now lie in rubble and wreckage. Other journalists have compared this section of town to Stalingrad, but none of them has ever seen the Stalingrad they imagine, nor felt what life force existed there. Nevertheless, the proximity of death provides parallels. Life, as we might experience it, is here warped by the closeness of death.