Mark Richards Found Beauty in Afghanistan, Then Afghanistan Almost Killed Him
Mark Richards is a survivor, but Afghanistan almost killed him. At the age of 28, the photojournalist sneaked across the border from Pakistan. It was the early 1980s and he was making his living taking pictures of war. He’d spent the past few years covering all the conflicts Southeast... Read more
War Is a Racket in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’
This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Audiences don’t normally see daily life in the Star Wars galaxy. True, the prequels show the bustling life on various planets but those movies are all about the build-up to conflict. They never really show the way that conflict... Read more
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and the Value of Military Failure
This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Poe Dameron is a terrible commander. The opening moments of Star Wars: The Last Jedi depict the foolhardy Resistance commander leading a bombing run on a First Order dreadnought. His team destroys the target, but it’s a pyrrhic victory.... Read more
‘Call of Duty: WWII’ Turns Your Grandparent’s Achievements Into a Lousy Theme-Park Ride
Call of Duty: WWII, the latest entry in the long-running first-person-shooter franchise, is monumentally terrible. Publisher Activision Blizzard insults gamers by failing to deliver a decent product, disparages history buffs by half-assing one of the darkest periods in recent world history and mocks those who endured the war by... Read more
Netflix’s ‘The Punisher’ Is the Vetsploitation Story America Needs
This story contains spoilers for The Punisher Wetwork like this always happens in a basement. There’s the sound of flesh on flesh and a splash of blood on the concrete. There are blackouts, ghosts of the dead and the street noise of Kandahar. There’s a man business casual covered... Read more
Sebastian Junger Knows Why Soldiers Have a Hard Time Coming Home
This article was originally published on June 11, 2016. As the United States approaches its 15th straight year at war, rates of post-traumatic stress disorder have risen to record highs. But there are no simple explanations for the cause. American soldiers are less likely to engage in combat than their... Read more
‘Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus’ Reminded Me Why I Love America
This post contains extensive spoilers for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Somewhere between blowing up Area 52 and burying a hatchet in the face of a Nazi Obergruppenführer, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus reminded me why I love the United States of America. That’s how good it is. Wolfenstein... Read more
The Nazis Obsessed Over Beauty
This story originally appeared on Dec. 24, 2014. Frankly, the parade is exquisite. The marchers wear clean, crisp uniforms. They hold their banners high. Enormous sculptures of horses and men loom over the procession. It’s footage from German Arts Day—in 1939. A march in celebration of the Nazi aesthetic.... Read more
‘Papers, Please’ Almost Gave Me a Nervous Breakdown
This story originally appeared on Sept. 18, 2013. “Papers, Please,” I said. The man slid his passport, work permit, immunization records and entry permit across my desk. I took them and looked them over, hunting for discrepancies. His passport was expired. I denied him entry into the country. He... Read more
What ‘Tales From the Crypt’ Taught Us About Illustrating War
This story originally appeared on Aug. 21, 2013. Comic shops are full of war stories. The Unknown Soldier is a bleak book about a haunted man with a face wrapped in bandages waging a lone war against the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. The Pride of Baghdad tells... Read more

Matthew Gault

Contributing Editor

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