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From Baghdad with Love
Cover of From Baghdad with Love
From Baghdad with Love
A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava
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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.

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.
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About the Author-
  • Jay Kopelman is a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps; he was last stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. A competitive bicyclist, Jay lives in La Jolla, California, with his wife, Pam Godde, stepson, their two dogs, Lava and Koda, and Cheddar the cat. Both Jay and his wife, an anthropologist, are avid surfers. They're expecting their second child in January 2007.


    Melinda Roth works for a political lobbyist in Chicago, where she lives with her family.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 11, 2006
    The news from Iraq keeps getting grimmer, but Iraq veteran Kopelman and journalist Roth (The Man Who Talks to Dogs
    ) tell a tale of radiant joy about Kopelman's efforts to safely transport Lava, the stray dog his Marine unit found in the wreckage of Fallujah, back to the U.S. Though the premise sounds cloying, Kopelman and Roth eschew sentimentality. They don't hesitate to detail the corruption of the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. military bureaucracy or the extreme hardships of the Iraqi people. Kopelman's nagging qualms about keeping the dog in violation of military orders throw into relief his efforts to repress his guilt over working so hard to save a dog amid so much human suffering. Most bracing are the frank descriptions of the war's moral vacuum, where terrified men and women—like the dogs that Iraqi insurgents strap with bombs and send charging into the enemy—are driven to commit unspeakable acts they cannot possibly understand. The story of Lava's journey out of Iraq is exciting, but it's to Kopelman and Roth's credit that it's not nearly as harrowing as the story of what the dog left behind. 8 pages of b&w photos.

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    Lyons Press
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From Baghdad with Love
From Baghdad with Love
A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava
Jay Kopelman
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