A Soldier's Stories | Essay | Chicago Reader

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A Soldier's Stories

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Age: 56

Occupation: Retired economist

Rooms: Six. Rent: Nothing--he owns the building.

Location: Wicker Park

Oldest Possession: Photo of Malcolm X shot in Accra, Ghana, in 1964

On the Fridge: Selected Mister Boffo, Willie 'n Ethel, The Far Side, Bound & Gagged, and Non Sequitur strips

The Scarlet Banner: Given to him by a friend due to his "very long history on the left." He says the inscription commends a union for exceeding the five-year plan. Learned his Russian at West Point.

Chattering Teeth: Gift from a friend. The X-ray? "I'm taking that to the dentist tomorrow."

Not Pictured: A trophy awarded for placing first in his class in the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, one of the most prestigious military training programs in the world. "Three days later I walked out of the army."

In His Own Words: "They assigned me to recruit, and I told them I'd do what they told me but I wouldn't get anyone else involved. It was an excuse. I was looking for a reason to get out and would have found another one eventually."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Lloyd DeGrane.

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