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Encore Q&A: Karl Marlantes

Washington, DC
Saturday, December 29, 2012

Former Marine Lieutenant Karl Marlantes talks about his autobiographical narrative, “What It Is Like To Go To War.” He speaks of the profound impact being a front line soldier during war has made on his life. Marlantes relates many of his own combat experiences, including one intense battle in Vietnam during which 17 Marines were killed. His actions on that day ultimately won him the Navy Cross which is the highest citation awarded by the Department of the Navy. He shares his own anguish in recognizing and coming to terms with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. He feels that the military did a poor job of reintegrating Vietnam veterans to life back in the United States. Marlantes cautions that every combat situation is a life changing experience, and many soldiers may return home and turn to drugs, alcohol, or suicide. He states that those are the soldiers the country needs to look after. He discusses his thirty year journey to write and publish his books, and his plans for the next one.

Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 3:51pm (ET)

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Washington Journal (late 2012)