This piece is about guilt, loyalty and the relationship between ordinary Americans and soldiers fighting in Iraq. It’s also a good test case for the "It’s not about you" principle of first-person pieces. There’s a lot of self-referencing here, but we found Nusbaumer’s use of the "I" mostly effective (we might have cut the reference to his own tears). His stance is that of the average American; he’s pointing out sacrifice in a way that other pieces of this type often do in a more distanced way. He’s connecting the dots more explicitly. The writing at the sentence level is tight and crisp, which makes for a vivid read.

Read “Band of Brothers,” by Stewart Nusbaumer

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