No one joins the military just for money or solely out of love of family. It’s too profound and uniquely complex a sacrifice for that. And when a young person tells you he enlisted for adventure, what he really means is that he went on a quest for meaning – our popular vocabulary being too anemic to support the weight of a desire simultaneously so necessary and recondite. And  there are a lot of reasons why people join up. Some are unutterable. And of those that we can express, many contradict each other. 

It was a much more dramatic change for me to go from the Army to Brooklyn than it was to go from Missouri to the Army.