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Questions for Jay Kopelman
Amazon.com: Before you met Lava and had this experience smuggling him out of Iraq, did you ever have ambitions to write a book?
Jay Kopelman: Yes, I'd considered writing a book previously and have started--but not finished--a novel. Not surprisingly, it's a military murder mystery. And I'm still hoping to get it published. I've also been offered a deal by my publisher to write another book. So I guess I'm now officially an author.
Amazon.com: How has the military responded to it given that you broke a number of rules during your adventure with Lava?
Jay Kopelman: I've actually not had any real feedback from the military establishment. In fact, mostly I only get the good-natured ribbing from my contemporaries about how much money I'll make or about who will play me in the movie. When the story first broke a year and a half ago, one of the generals jokingly asked me for an autograph, and I've given the previous commanding general for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force a signed galley. So, thus far, theres been nothing "official" to which I've had to respond. We'll see what happens now that the book is released and there's going to be a media blitz surrounding the book. What you have to remember, though, is that I really didn't use military assets to get Lava home. Nor did I ever endanger anyone in the military while doing so.
Amazon.com: In the book, you say that you would like it if it can bring hope to people who've lost loved ones in Iraq by showing them how something positive can come out of a brutal situation. Have you heard from people that your book has made them feel better?
Jay Kopelman: I've not yet heard from anyone whos lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, but I have heard from a counselor who works with the returning Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, who said she finds the story so very positive and helpful. She's planning to come to the book signing there. I also got an e-mail from a Marine who said that while her unit was in Iraq, they adopted a puppy and tried to bring it home, but he was ultimately put down. She says that the Marines "remember how Charlie the dog helped us. Charlie will always be loved. During a time when we were far from home that dog made us smile." So, I suppose Lava's story does help people remember and gives them hope. Ive also heard from people who appreciate my candor describing the conditions in Iraq.
A sweet story of a soldier needing something no human can provide whilst in the midst of a war zone, a dog who needed a person, and the soldier's efforts to bring his new love home... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dr. Kristi S. Fowler
what a ridiculously wonderful book. I didn't want to read it thinking I'd cry but it's a story of a Marine rescuing a dog enclosed in a story of living in a war zone that is so... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rhiannon
This book resonated with me as a veteran who had pets to pass the time and loneliness in the year away from my family. Loved itPublished 2 months ago by Kristin Morris
I LOVED THIS BOOK! IT IS TOUCHING! AND TO THOSE THAT WOULD WHY DIDINT YOU SAVE A PERSON, I WOULD SAY ANY LIFE IS A LIFE THAT IS WORTH SAVING, IT WILL TOUCH YOU HOW SOME MARINES... Read morePublished 2 months ago by judy kibler
Deeply moving story about an abandoned little puppy was saved by a group of American Marines. Lava's smart, understands his surroundings. Read morePublished 3 months ago by tj bao