My new project Fallujah Heat— written with my friend Franco Mercado– just went live on Amazon. Click here to check it out.
Franco was a Corporal in the U.S. Marines from 2003-2006. He served three combat tours with 3rd Battalion 4th Marines in the cities of Al Kut, Al Nasiriyah, Basra, Haditha, Baghdad, and Fallujah. He participated in operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Vigilant Response.
Fallujah Heat is a novelized memoir about Franco’s time as part of the occupying force in Fallujah. Specifically, it covers his role solving crimes in the aftermath of the Battle of Fallujah, and his experiences navigating the political intrigues– that were often straight-up murderous– involving the local sheiks who ruled over the city neighborhoods.
It was a real honor and pleasure for me to work with Franco on this project. I emerged with a new appreciation for the work that American soldiers do, and the ways in which– despite their often harrowing circumstances– they remain fundamentally human and real. They aren’t all cocksure, square-jawed quarterback types, like you see in recruiting commercials. They’re real people. Doing pretty extraordinary things. Again and again, helping Franco tell his remarkable story drove this point home for me.
Any good parts of this project are to the credit of Franco. If there are any errors, oversights, or sections that don’t feel right, the fault for that is entirely with me.