Article Title

The Consecration


Robert Fay


The U.S. Marines have a fool-proof method of preparing Americans for combat. They start with three months at boot camp and two months on the infantry course, followed by advanced weapons training and then life in the Fleet where the culture is a combination of Sparta and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but what works - what ultimately wins firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan-is to convince the grunts they're already dead. And while it’s not easy for an American teenager to give his life away, if he can do it, he’ll roll into the big fight with nothing to lose. “What’s the worst thing that can happen to me,” the thinking goes, “if I’m already dead?” So in the nastiest places on earth, Fallujah and Helmand Province come to mind, Marines are as prepared as any troops can ever be. But it’s impossible not to wonder: what does a dead man do when he returns home to America?