Home/Front: How Marla Ruzicka Changed War In Iraq And Afghanistan : Rough Translation Marla kept a detailed account of Iraqi civilians harmed by war. How did she recruit people in the U.S. military to help them? And what toll did it take on her?

Part 2 of the story of Marla Ruzicka. You can find Part 1 here.

Home/Front: Marla's List

Home/Front: Marla's List

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Marla Ruzicka, in her iconic sheepskin vest, stands in front of bullet-ridden cars in Kabul (March 2002). Kate Brooks/CIVIC hide caption

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Kate Brooks/CIVIC

Marla Ruzicka, in her iconic sheepskin vest, stands in front of bullet-ridden cars in Kabul (March 2002).

Kate Brooks/CIVIC

Part 2 of the story of Marla Ruzicka. You can find Part 1, Marla's War, here.

In the final episode of our Home/Front series, we continue the story of Marla Ruzicka.

Though she first arrived in Afghanistan as an anti-war activist, Marla's encounters with war victims led her to believe that it was "a luxury to be against war, because war happens." She committed herself to "change" war and the way the US counts and compensates civilians harmed in war. By the time she died at age 28, Marla had opened a channel of communication between the military and humanitarian community, and helped spark a movement that continues to this day.

But to understand how Marla set out to change war's impact on civilians, it's not enough to tell you about what she got done, but what she got so many people around her to do. She had a remarkable ability to recruit people, including people in the US military, to help her, even before they'd met her or heard her name. She seemed to have a role and a vision for everyone, and the persuasive power to pull it off.

But Marla's effort to change war also came at a cost. Throughout her time in Iraq, Marla kept her own detailed record of civilians harmed by war, but also a list of her personal struggles with mental health and addictions. In this episode, we hear from three people Marla recruited to her cause to understand how she leapt so easily across the civilian-military divide. And we chronicle the toll this work took on Marla herself.


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