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Teaching Iraq: What Shall I Tell My Students?

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Vietnam, 1966: In a jungle firefight there are no Christians, only men fighting to stay alive. There isn't time to pray. Jason Cord, a haunted Vietnam veteran who won a Silver Star, Bronze Star with a "V" for valor and two Purple Hearts, teaches Political Science and American Lit to senior and junior high school students. When Jason recently asked Matt, a former student who Vietnam, 1966: In a jungle firefight there are no Christians, only men fighting to stay alive. There isn't time to pray. Jason Cord, a haunted Vietnam veteran who won a Silver Star, Bronze Star with a "V" for valor and two Purple Hearts, teaches Political Science and American Lit to senior and junior high school students. When Jason recently asked Matt, a former student who just returned from Iraq, "How was it?"; Matt simply answered, "God has forsaken Iraq." Teaching Iraq is history and fiction. It weaves together the existential moments that shaped Jason Cord in Vietnam with his passion for teaching, his unwavering regard for his students, and his struggle to teach the truth. Iraq: The tides of an Iraqi night ebb and flow. Beneath Matt's Humvee the day's heat radiated from the desert sands; above him frigid air spilled from the icy oceans that drift between the stars and moon. The IED went off under the engine of the first gunship. The blast came up through the floor taking Ramirez' legs off at the knees. A moment later, Matt held the stump of Ramirez' right leg. He glanced into Ramirez' face; it was peppered with shrapnel. His front teeth were broken off and jutted from his lower lip. His glazed eyes stared into the shattered windshield. Ramirez whispered over and over, "Forgive us our trespasses." The heavy thick odor of blood, urine and sour sweat assailed Matt's senses. Someone kept yelling, "Stay strong Ramirez, stay strong." Matt closed his eyes to pray, but the words turned hollow in his throat. Iraq's rising moon stretched shadows across the sand; indifferent to the warm blood coagulating between Matt's sticky fingers. Lake Mary High School: "Good morning class. Yesterday we had civil liberties, today we have an imperial president: say goodbye to habeas corpus, privacy, due process, and a fair trial; say hello to torture, rendition, illegal wiretaps, and Big Brother."


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Vietnam, 1966: In a jungle firefight there are no Christians, only men fighting to stay alive. There isn't time to pray. Jason Cord, a haunted Vietnam veteran who won a Silver Star, Bronze Star with a "V" for valor and two Purple Hearts, teaches Political Science and American Lit to senior and junior high school students. When Jason recently asked Matt, a former student who Vietnam, 1966: In a jungle firefight there are no Christians, only men fighting to stay alive. There isn't time to pray. Jason Cord, a haunted Vietnam veteran who won a Silver Star, Bronze Star with a "V" for valor and two Purple Hearts, teaches Political Science and American Lit to senior and junior high school students. When Jason recently asked Matt, a former student who just returned from Iraq, "How was it?"; Matt simply answered, "God has forsaken Iraq." Teaching Iraq is history and fiction. It weaves together the existential moments that shaped Jason Cord in Vietnam with his passion for teaching, his unwavering regard for his students, and his struggle to teach the truth. Iraq: The tides of an Iraqi night ebb and flow. Beneath Matt's Humvee the day's heat radiated from the desert sands; above him frigid air spilled from the icy oceans that drift between the stars and moon. The IED went off under the engine of the first gunship. The blast came up through the floor taking Ramirez' legs off at the knees. A moment later, Matt held the stump of Ramirez' right leg. He glanced into Ramirez' face; it was peppered with shrapnel. His front teeth were broken off and jutted from his lower lip. His glazed eyes stared into the shattered windshield. Ramirez whispered over and over, "Forgive us our trespasses." The heavy thick odor of blood, urine and sour sweat assailed Matt's senses. Someone kept yelling, "Stay strong Ramirez, stay strong." Matt closed his eyes to pray, but the words turned hollow in his throat. Iraq's rising moon stretched shadows across the sand; indifferent to the warm blood coagulating between Matt's sticky fingers. Lake Mary High School: "Good morning class. Yesterday we had civil liberties, today we have an imperial president: say goodbye to habeas corpus, privacy, due process, and a fair trial; say hello to torture, rendition, illegal wiretaps, and Big Brother."

4 review for Teaching Iraq: What Shall I Tell My Students?

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    So far, great book. Just started!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Gersdorf

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donovan

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

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