A Son, A Soldier: 'Bearing Arms' In Life And War

Read The Article At 'Harper's'

Benjamin Busch is a man with many dimensions — and multiple resumes. One charts his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, from Infantry Officers School in Quantico in 1993, to commander of Delta Company, serving in Iraq, and his promotion to lieutenant colonel in 2007.

Then, there's his other resume — as a technical adviser, director and actor, from Party of Five to The Wire to the new TV show The Beast, which stars Patrick Swayze.

He'll need to start a third resume soon, for his writing. He's a contributor to Harper's magazine. The February issue includes his essay "Bearing Arms: The Serious Boy at War."

The essay appears less than three years after Busch's father, novelist Frederick Busch, wrote in the same magazine about what it was like to have a son fighting in a far-off war. The two visited Weekend Edition in November 2005.

In that interview, the elder Busch said:

The job of a writer is to create structure and to find the right language so as to be able to tell what he or she thinks is the truth. And the search for the right language and the invention of structure help to give the writer himself a sense of being held together as his structure holds together the inchoate experiences he's trying to write about. And I do not pray. I am not an observer of any organized faith. And I think the closest I was able to come to prayer was to write this essay as a way, if you will, of bringing Ben home.

A few months after that interview, Frederick Busch died of a heart attack. He was 64.

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