I just finished reading Evan Wright’s gonzo account of being embedded with the Marines of the First Recon Battalion as they headed for Baghdad. Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War pretty much puts to rest the notion that the U.S. military is made up of underprivileged youths who were duped into service with the promise of travel and money for college. The guys in First Recon were there because they wanted to be, and they had no illusions about why they were there.
Early on, “a twenty-year-old redheaded corporal jumps up as more helicopters fly north. ‘Get some!’ he screams. Then he adds, ‘They kill hundreds of people, those pilots. I would have loved to have flown the plane that dropped the bomb on Japan. A couple dudes killed hundreds of thousands. That f**cking rules! Yeah!'”