EAST BAGHDAD, Iraq: Forward Operating Base — Night.

Mortar shells splash in the foreground throwing strobes of light that obliterate the darkness. Bullets ping like castanets off a sign post. Soldiers dart for cover as missiles drop through plumes of smoke.

Captain Brian Robert Wilson sits in the corner of his concrete barrack typing on his computer. His mind, elsewhere. Across the room an unannounced rocket penetrates the concrete roof. A beam of moonlight rides piggyback on the shrapnel pushed through a hole cut in the cinder. Wilson screams out a soldier’s name.

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