March 2006 Issue



Casualty Of War

A real-life G.I. Joe, Master Sergeant James Coons hardly seemed like a candidate for post-traumatic stress disorder. But when his demons got the best of him, there was nothing anyone could do—not that anyone really tried.



As a captain in the 451st Civil Affairs Battalion, all I think about is the future of Iraq. Here’s what my world looks like.


Heartbreak High

If the war is an unpleasant abstraction in the rest of the country, it’s omnipresent at Killeen Shoemaker, where many of the children of the enlisted men and women of Fort Hood are enrolled—and pray for peace every single day.


Web Exclusive

From the Field

Photographer Thomas Dworzak talks about going to Iraq, spending a typical day with Captain Jonathan Moss, and photographing war.

Web Exclusive

Children Left Behind

Contributing photographer Peter Yang talks about Killeen, his first impression of Shoemaker High School, and the students who have lost a parent during wartime.

Web Exclusive

War Zone

Editorial director Christopher Keyes talks about this month’s special issue on the Iraq war.

Web Exclusive

The Unseen Enemy

Executive editor Skip Hollandsworth talks about Master Sergeant James Coons and the soldier’s battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Pat's Pick


Talk about international style. Those sleek cream-colored walls and sexy blond- and-auburn wood floors could be anywhere in the world: New York, London, Tokyo— all of which happen to be among the 26 cities that Bice has colonized since it was founded in Milan, in 1926. So, yes, this Houston


Behind the Lines

Duty Calls

How Rick and Melissa Noriega served their country—and their constituents.


Around the State

Around the State

March—People, Places, Events, Attractions03.09.2006You have to wonder what’s most impressive about the 48-year-old World’s Largest Rattlesnake Round-up, in Sweetwater: the fact that a community of farmers and ranchers devised a way to turn all their diamondback-infested nooks and crannies into ripe hunting grounds, drawing crowds from as far as Australia

Around the State

Bush’s War

Will Iraq be the president’s legacy? A conversation with eminent historians H. W. Brands and Doris Kearns Goodwin.


Music Review

The Truth Will Set You Free

Besides working as a horse trainer, James Hand, from the tiny town of Tokio near Waco, has been haunting honky-tonks with his hard-won tales for more than thirty years. Suddenly, at 53, his on-and-off music career is decidedly on. The Truth Will Set You Free (Rounder), his first national release,

Music Review

Sleep Inside This Wheel

Since the punk era, rock music has been mostly attitude. But attitudes have shifted, the ambient electronics of DJ culture have seeped in, and the music now seems just as much about mood. Austin newcomers The Glass Family are a prime example. Sleep Inside This Wheel (i eat records, available

Music Review

The Believer

Rhett Miller’s innate talent and charisma have shone through the blazing cowpunk of the Old 97’s for more than a decade. His life seems a charmed one: He has kept his boyish good looks into his thirties; he’s married to a model. Clearly, it ain’t enough. The Dallas singer’s latest


Thousands of miles from my hometown of Castroville, I’m conducting incredibly dangerous house-to-house searches in Baghdad—and blogging about it when I get back to the base.

Book Review

Are You Happy?

Those who’ve witnessed faculty brats running amok on a small college campus will immediately recognize Houston memoirist Emily Fox Gordon and her preteen cohorts as they roam the grounds of fifties-era Williams College in Are You Happy? (A Childhood Remembered) (Riverhead), the follow-up to her well-reviewed debut, Mockingbird Years. Gordon

Book Review

Sinners Welcome

Before diving into the 43 poems of Sinners Welcome (HarperCollins), consider skipping straight to the back for poet/author Mary Karr’s sardonic essay on prayer and poetry. Agnostics, atheists, and skeptics will find her wise-ass insights a helpful lens through which to view the many forthrightly devout poems from this self-proclaimed

Book Review

Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes

T Cooper strews ambiguity like clues at a crime scene throughout Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes (Dutton), a potent second novel. Was the author really born in the Texas Panhandle? Did Jewish refugee Esther Lipshitz really find her lost son’s body in a Central Park pond? What’s the relationship

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