Since September 11, 2001, over a million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the overseas experiences of these men and women have been well documented, their experiences returning home have received less attention. I became interested in telling the story of an average soldier, one who had enlisted in the Army for idealistic reasons, served diligently, and returned home quietly, without any particular accolades or physical wounds. This was the soldier overlooked by the nightly news, the soldier who was expected to reintegrate smoothly into civilian life. I was lucky enough to find Blake Roberts. Honest and direct, he shared with me tales of daily life in the barracks as well as intimate, tragic moments. Though Blake does not question the motives of the U.S. government in Iraq or the missions he completed, he nevertheless has been shaken by his experiences in the Middle East. His story speaks for so many other U.S. soldiers who enter the military service with good intentions, but find themselves overwhelmed by the tasks they must carry out and the traumas they witness. His story is a cautionary reminder that military action should not be taken carelessly; its results run deep and last interminably.
– Kathy Huang