In 2003, newly minted Private First Class Paul Warmbier left behind the world he knew for something much more complicated. At 17, Paul signed up for a wartime adventure with the Marine Corps infantry, leaving his home in the Idaho mountains for that of the deserts: first the Mohave in California, then to Iraq, where his first exposure to genuinely complicated causes and effects caused his mindset and world to shift.
In this terrifyingly honest account of PTSD and trauma, Paul sees himself stepping in the sands of history, the same sands walked on by Gilgamesh, Alexander the Great, and other conquerors who met and battled with themselves in the vast desert beauty.
Upon returning from war and just out of the Marines, Paul found himself lost, totally alone in his head but surrounded by those who loved him. Through flashbacks and therapy sessions, we rid ourselves of the exciting gunslinging stories that are usually told, for those that are raw, intense, and deeply problematic, all in the attempt to understand how one can regain love of self and personal identity after war ripped it all away.