Years Later, Loss at War Resonates at Home

Years Later, Loss at War Resonates at Home

By Thomas James Brennan

Anthony was wearing pajamas. His knees bounced up and down as he sat cross-legged at his kitchen table. Between each scoop of Velveeta macaroni and cheese, he told me a little more about his father. We talked about nicknames – Papi and his Silly Rabbit – and Anthony’s plans to swing from the ceiling fans if his dad came home. He won’t. The Silly Rabbit placed his bowl and spoon inside the kitchen sink. “I hate war,” he said. Five years ago, when Anthony was three, his father, Javier Ortiz-Rivera, was killed in Afghanistan.

A Centuries-Long Battle to the Ambiguity of War

A Centuries-Long Battle to the Ambiguity of War

By Natalie Schachar and Thomas James Brennan

Geoff Heath first stepped foot in Iraq in 2005, during his first deployment with the U.S. Marines. He had been trained to show the enemy no mercy and to exploit, without hesitation, any weaknesses to prevail. Heath understood war to be a series of calculated moves to ensure the Marines kept the upper hand. He came to understand war as a game of attrition, and to see it as his job to use every type of warfare to force the enemy’s surrender, or death.