I sat at a cubicle for nine hours today. I did some things that I liked and some that I did not. At the end of the day, I felt that I had worked hard. However, never once did I ask myself if I felt heroic or not.
We all want to be successful, but we all also have different definitions for what being “successful” means. Author of Zarqawi’s Ice Cream: Tales of Mediocre Infantrymen, Andrew Goldsmith, envisioned success as becoming a hero. Growing up in Redondo Beach, CA, Andrew saw nothing more potentially heroic than serving the country where he was raised, sacrificing the comforts of life that the rest of us enjoy, and challenging his mind and body beyond normal standards. “I was looking forward to serving my country and wanted a good challenge,” explains Andrew.
After deploying on two tours to Iraq at the young age of 19 and graduating from Ranger School, Andrew finds that the quest for heroism is still illusive and feels betrayed by the ruling organization. “This book is the last call of a warrior. My rise and fall. This is my mission now.” A collection of 35 war stories, Andrew covers tales of battle, guns, booze, sex, and violence. For those of us well informed about the war in Iraq, and for those of us not so informed, we will all be enlightened by the reality of what is truly going on overseas. “The people of America know very little. The media is brief and focuses mostly on casualties. My stories are unique and important. It is important for people to realize the consequences of their policies. It says a lot for our country.”
Although his experience as a soldier was not at all as he expected, he regrets nothing and is glad for the memories and lessons learned. Even after the close of his service, he is still connected by an intense brotherhood to his fellow infantrymen. “We miss each other and talk all the time. It just makes our day to hear from one another.”
With the release of his book in May 2011, Andrew aims to remind readers that there are faces to war and that these faces should not be ignored. All of his characters and stories are 100% real and honest. Despite his self-perceived lack of heroism, he also supports young men who are currently interested in enlisting in the military. “Go ahead,” says Andrew, “But take it as it comes and do not have any preconceived expectations. You will learn a lot and you will never have another chance like this. It is good for your character, but it will break you down.”
Zarqawi’s Ice Cream: Tales of Mediocre Infantrymen is straightforward and unconventional. It will open your eyes, heart, and mind to the reality of war. “Serving in Iraq made me wary of the world. Nothing is wholly good or wholly evil. There is always a mixture.”
Andrew is currently studying philosophy in Hawaii where he describes himself as a “workaholic” since deciding to publish this book.