David Finkel

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David Louis Finkel (born October 28, 1955) is an American journalist. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 as a staff writer at The Washington Post. As of January 2017, he was national enterprise editor at the Post. He has also worked for the Post′s foreign staff division. He wrote The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service.


The Good Soldiers (2009)[edit]

  • The resulting explosion sent several large steel disks toward the Humvee at such high velocity that by the time they reached Cajimat's door, they had been reshaped into unstoppable, semi-molten slugs. At most, the IED cost $100 to make, and against it the $150,000 Humvee might as well have been constructed of lace.
    • Narrator, p. 21, describing an IED strike on a convoy of HMMWVs
  • For now, Kauzlarich though that giving soccer balls to Iraqi children who would run up to his Humvee screaming, "Mister, mister," was having a positive effect. A child would take home a soccer ball; his parents would ask where it came from; he would say, "The Americans"; the parents would be delighted; their confidence would increase; they would be more willing to make the difficult decisions of reconciliation; Baghdad would become secure; democracy in Iraq would thrive; the war would be won. Eventually, Kauzlarich would give up on soccer balls.
    • Narrator, p. 28
  • Four of the Soldiers scrambled out a door and got out of the trench relatively dry, but the gunner was trapped inside. "He was yelling," Staff Sergeant Arthur Enriquez would remember afterward, and if there was any hesitation about what to do next, it was only because, "I didn't want to jump in the poo water."
    And then?
    "I jumped into the damn poo water"
    • Narrator, p. 70, describing the rescue of a trapped Soldier after his Humvee slipped into a sewage trench.
A lot of them were great, some were brilliant, and almost all were unquestionably courageous
  • Most of the Soldiers he got weren't that way. A lot of them were great, some were brilliant, and almost all were unquestionably courageous: Sergeant Gietz, who was being nominated for a bronze star medal with Valor for what he had done in June. Adam Schumann, who had carried Sergeant Emory on his back. The list went on and on. Every company. Every platoon. Every soldier, really, because now, in July, as the explosions kept coming, and coming, the daily act of them jumping into Humvees to go out the wire and straight into what they knew was waiting for them began to seem the very definition of bravery.
    • Narrator, p. 121
  • "It sounds weird, and I don't like telling people this, but the reason I joined the army is because I've always looked up to Soldiers."
    • PFC Jay March, p. 133
  • "The only hope you have is to get her to an American hospital?" Cummings asked, repeating what Izzy had just said. Izzy started to answer. The cell phone went dead. "Izzy?" Cummings said. "Izzy?"
    How did moments of decency occur in this war?
    "Izzy," Cummings said. "Bring your daughter here."
    That was how.
    • MAJ Brent Cummings, p. 169, describing the reaction to the wounded daughter of one of the unit's linguists.
  • What do the rules say?
    At the moment, anyway, no one seemed concerned one way or another: not the doctors, not the family, and not Cummings, who stood at the same spot he'd stood at as he watched Crow die, watching once again. […] The glass had been part of an apartment that no longer existed, in a section of Baghdad where the sounds that night were the sounds of mourning.
    But here on the FOB, the sounds were of a mother whose home was ruined kissing her daughter's face, and a father whose home was ruined kissing his daughter's hand, and a little girl whose home was ruined saying something in Arabic that caused her family to smile, and Cummings saying quietly in English, "Man, I haven't felt this good since I got to this hellhole."
    • Narrator, p. 173, describing the operation that saved the daughter of one of the unit's linguists.

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