Grew Up… in Sacramento, and also briefly in Japan where his father was stationed for the military after serving in the Vietnam War.
Living… in “The Suck” – a term for the Marine Corps, a service that “sucks the life out of you.” He’s stationed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield, a duty that he is finding consists less of excitement, firefights, and chasing down bad guys, and more of trying to retain your sanity in the empty heat of the desert.
Profession… Lance Corporal with the Marines, which he joined because he “got lost on the way to college.” Swofford is a talented rifleman and is selected by Staff Sergeant Sykes to join the Scout Sniper platoon.
Interests… Naughty by Nature, Camus, football – anything, really. Diversions are few and far between in the Marine Corps and Anthony will do just about anything if it represents a break from the monotony.
Relationship Status…. dating a woman named Kristina, but he’s worried she might cheat on him while he’s overseas. Infidelity is not uncommon among spouses and significant others of active-duty soldiers. In fact, it’s so common that Swofford’s platoon’s tent features a pole where pictures of the unfaithful are publicly displayed. As if to confirm his suspicions, Kristina sent him a letter that she has a new friend, the night manager at the hotel she works at, and that he is a “good listener.”
Challenge… coping with the mental aspect of being stationed in Saudi Arabia. The challenges include the boredom, the Spartan lifestyle, the separation from Kristina, the heat, and the infinite sea of sand. “For most problems, a marine is issued a solution,” Swofford says. “If losing his mind, no standard solution exists.”
Personality… thoughtful and intellectual. That is not necessarily a good thing in the Marines – he wonders whether it's better to be a meathead, a junkyard dog, to just be. Swofford’s brooding leads him to question the meaning of the war that he’s engaged in.
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