As a stop-loss combat vet in Afghanistan, author Johnny Rico
paid thousands of dollars of his own money to outfit himself with equipment that the Army had trouble providing. In his memoir on the war against the Taliban, Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America
, he writes, "My night-vision goggles keep slipping. I need a new mount. Mounts are hard to come by. Some guys had been waiting for mounts before we left for this deployment. The mounts had supposedly been 'on order' for the last six months. I should've just gone online and bought a new mount myself from a private company, and then I'd have had mine in six weeks like everyone else." It's the tip of the farcical iceberg in his fierce, often unbelievable true story. Rico, who is conducting writing workshops with Avila University writing students, gives a free public reading today at 7 p.m. at Avila's Hooley-Bundschu Library (11901 Wornall, 816-501-3621).
Tue., March 4, 7 p.m., 2008