Corporal Michael Pinckney:
"I'm twenty-three. My generation sucks. They're all soft. They don't care about their identity as Americans. We live in some bad-ass country, and they're not even proud of it. My family flies the flag, but other families don't. Nobody knows what it means to be American anymore, to be tough. I like being home and yet I don't. People at home are not proud of us being in Iraq, because they've lost the meaning of sacrifice. They expect things to be perfect and easy. They don't know that when things go wrong you persevere; you don't second-guess. During OIF-I, we all slept in the rain and got dysentery in Ad-Diwaniyah. But back home, everyone is going to shrinks and suing each other. That's why I like the Marine Corps. If you fuck up, your sergeant makes you suck it up. I don't want to be anywhere else but Iraq. OIF-I and OIF-II, this is what manhood is all about. And I don't mean macho shit either. I mean moral character."
From Robert Kaplan's "Imperial Grunts," page 323.