Book Review: “From Baghdad with Love – A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava” by Jay Kopelman

This book is a memoir of a Marine (Jay Kopelman), who was sent to Irag during the Iraq war, somehow fell in love with this puppy called Lava. He want through quite a ordeal to get the puppy out of Iraq.

In a way, I believe the author sees a little of himself in this puppy -a little restless, lawless, and emotional. Rescuing the puppy in a way is like to rescue himself and his sanity and give him a sense of purpose from a country of insanity and war zone. With help from an Iraqi, a CNN Journalist, bomb-detecting kennel, he was able to fly the dog out of the country after the end of his tour. The fate of the dog hung on the balance throughout the story.

I was surprised to learn how badly Iraq has fallen into. This is not a country anyone would want to live in. The vivid account of the situation there (like separation of green and red zone, human bodies being eaten by stray dogs, constant threat of suicide bombing, and bomb-strapped cows, retarded kids and etc.) does send a chill through my spine.

The book reads like a novel but was in a journal format and kept the reader interested all along. Very nicely done. Looking at these pictures of Lava, I can see why people would want to preserve his little life. He is a miracle in itself (the odd was stacked against him) and gives us hope that things will get better for his homeland – Iraq and for the US men and women who are still there. Our thoughts are with you.