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Brandon Friedman: soldier, activist, blogger, author

The War He Always Wanted

Brandon Friedman, who last year received his Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas, served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan and Iraq. He now serves as a senior advisor to VoteVets.org. The 29-year-old Friedman is also among eight Iraq and Afghanistan vets who signed a letter sent today to President Bush, which demands Bush stop invoking executive privlege and "share vital documents regarding the death of Corporal Pat Tillman with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform."

Friedman, who now lives here, is days away from making his debut as a published writer, with a book about his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. Titled The War I Always Wanted: The Illusion of Glory and the Reality of War, it's due in stores August 15 -- but you can get early copies online, Friedman wrote here just two days ago, along with an excerpt from the book. Of course, he also has a MySpace page (hey, he's friends with Wes Clark!) -- but more important, Publishers Weekly recently hailed the book as having been written "in a literary style reminiscent of the late Kurt Vonnegut." Not surprisingly, he lists Slaughterhouse-Five as one of his favorite novels. --Robert Wilonsky

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