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From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War,…

From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava (2006)

by Jay Kopelman

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A group of Marines in Iraq found a puppy in an abandoned building they took over. They named the puppy Lava, and despite a military order not to care for any animals, the Marines fell for the cute little guy, and Kopelman started to worry about what would happen to Lava when they left. He did everything he could to make sure Lava was brought to the United States.

It was good and what animal-lover wouldn’t fall for the cute, but slightly obnoxious puppy Lava!? Loved reading about Lava, and found that more interesting than the details of the extremely difficult task of shipping him to the U.S. No surprise that I teared up a few times. ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 27, 2016 |
Heartwarming and touching on so many levels! Literature it ain't, but I still enjoyed reading it - a really good story. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
There are several things that makes this a striking book. For one thing, the vivid, frightening description of Fallujah at war kept me up at night, filled with adrenaline. When i finally fell asleep, I dreamt of warzones.
For another, the author, a marine, is very frank in expressing his feelings, and this really helps those of us who aren't in Iraq understand. The actual trials and tribulations of getting Lava, the puppy, to the U.S. were both frustrating and enlightening; not particularly enjoyable. The bottom line is I needed to find out about Jay and Lava's life in America and have started reading From Baghdad to America. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman is a Marine stationed in Fallujah, Iraq. The US military has strict rules about this kind of thing. Prohibited activities for service members under General Order A-1 include adopting as pets or mascots, caring for or feeding any type of any domestic or wild animal. So when the Marines on a mission to secure an abandon house find a puppy that was left behind there is only one thing they can do: save the puppy.

From Baghdad, With Love is the story of the dramatic rescue attempt of a dog named Lava and of Lava's rescue of at least one Marine from the emotional ravages of war. While the story focuses primarily on Lava's rescue we also get small insight into just how bad war can be. The story is heartwarming and another reminder of the healing power of animals. ( )
  Narilka | Nov 29, 2014 |
The details in this book are so enriching that I can't help but to keep reading on! ( )
  awriterscorner02 | Sep 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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"So he sent the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden he put winged ones and a flaming sword turning every way to keep the way to the tree of life." ~Genesis 3:24
To "Sam" - May you have freedom and peace.
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In an abandoned house in the northeast section of Fallujah, members of the First Battalion, Third Marines - known as Lava Dogs - froze when the heard a series of clicks coming from the one remaining room of the compound.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786295228, Hardcover)

In From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava, Jay Kopelman tells a story that is both tender and thought-provoking--candidly portraying the ugly conditions in wartime Iraq, while also describing his (and his fellow Marines') growing attachment to a scruffy stray puppy. Here Jay Kopelman answers a few questions about his aspirations as a writer, and the effect his book has had on readers.

Questions for Jay Kopelman

Amazon.com: Before you met Lava and had this experience smuggling him out of Iraq, did you ever have ambitions to write a book?

Jay Kopelman: Yes, I'd considered writing a book previously and have started--but not finished--a novel. Not surprisingly, it's a military murder mystery. And I'm still hoping to get it published. I've also been offered a deal by my publisher to write another book. So I guess I'm now officially an author.

Amazon.com: How has the military responded to it given that you broke a number of rules during your adventure with Lava?

Jay Kopelman: I've actually not had any real feedback from the military establishment. In fact, mostly I only get the good-natured ribbing from my contemporaries about how much money I'll make or about who will play me in the movie. When the story first broke a year and a half ago, one of the generals jokingly asked me for an autograph, and I've given the previous commanding general for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force a signed galley. So, thus far, there’s been nothing "official" to which I've had to respond. We'll see what happens now that the book is released and there's going to be a media blitz surrounding the book. What you have to remember, though, is that I really didn't use military assets to get Lava home. Nor did I ever endanger anyone in the military while doing so.

Amazon.com: In the book, you say that you would like it if it can bring hope to people who've lost loved ones in Iraq by showing them how something positive can come out of a brutal situation. Have you heard from people that your book has made them feel better?

Jay Kopelman: I've not yet heard from anyone who’s lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, but I have heard from a counselor who works with the returning Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, who said she finds the story so very positive and helpful. She's planning to come to the book signing there. I also got an e-mail from a Marine who said that while her unit was in Iraq, they adopted a puppy and tried to bring it home, but he was ultimately put down. She says that the Marines "remember how Charlie the dog helped us. Charlie will always be loved. During a time when we were far from home that dog made us smile." So, I suppose Lava's story does help people remember and gives them hope. I’ve also heard from people who appreciate my candor describing the conditions in Iraq.

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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:15 -0400)

Love and hope often arrive in the strangest places and in the strangest ways. During his tour of duty in Iraq, LtCol Jay Kopelman of the U.S. Marines endured the emotional stress common for those involved in bloody battles for freedom. Skirting the rules forbidding pets, Kopelman and his comrades adopted an abandoned puppy left behind after the battle for Fallujah. The dog (named Lava) befriended the Marines and journalists and was eventually smuggled out of Iraq by the soldiers with the help of NPR reporters, John van Zante and the Helen Woodward Animal Center, Iraqi citizens, and the Iams pet food company.--Publisher description.… (more)

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