As I continue to make final edits to my graphic novel about the Iraq War (six words that I’m getting tired of typing at this point), I’ve come to several pages that I had previously not published due to concerns on my part about the necessity of getting the work cleared for public release by the DA/DOD. However, a more careful reading of the regulations indicates that this is not necessary for “works of fiction (to include those based on real events),” as long as I’m confident that there’s no classified information disclosure. I am very confident in this, due to the extreme vagueness written into the story.
So, without further ado, here are some previously unpublished pages to tide you over while the editing continues.
Pages 37 and 38 will appear side by side in the final print version, like so. They explain the basics of what is going on to the casual reader. I had originally written this as a big block of text, but I think that this is much more clear and reads much better.
This section is the culminating point of the book, and cuts a clear contrast to the later pages when they’re handing out candy to little kids. It’s based on one particularly frightening incident that happened to me in 2009 in which an Iraqi driver, who may or may not have been guilty of anything, only escaped being stapled to the pavement by 7.62 rounds because my vehicle gunner didn’t have that last cup of coffee before setting out. We would almost certainly have been within our rights to shoot him, but in retrospect of course I’m glad we didn’t. I included the escalation of force scene here, instead of something more violent, because the point of writing the book was to show an unremarkable mission on an unremarkable day by an unremarkable unit in Iraq, and while shootings and IED attacks did happen, they were much rarer, whereas even to this day in Afghanistan you have 18 and 19 year-old vehicle gunners making these kinds of shoot/no-shoot decisions every single day. Hopefully that comes across.
Anyway, I’ve got the first 75 pages edited at this point, and I’ll post the whole thing once it’s complete before I move on to .pdf and print layouts.