Michael Anthony seemed destined to serve from the day he was born. The youngest of seven children, Michael has four brothers and two sisters, all but one of whom joined the military. His father and two grandfathers were also in the Military.
After graduating high school, he joined the Army Reserves, went through basic training, and then went through job training to become an Operating Room Medic. One year later he returned home and enrolled in college to begin his first semester. Almost immediately upon finishing his first semester he was shipped off to Wisconsin to train for four months before he would leave and spend his next year in Iraq. Michael is now back in the States and working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in creative writing.
You can visit his website at www.masscasualties.com
1. What is the latest book or movie that made you cry?
I don’t think I’ve ever cried from a book or movie, its real life that made me cry—which I suppose the last time that happened was when I was in Iraq, and everything just became overwhelming at once, and I just cried. I felt better after, though, and haven’t cried since.
2. What fictional character is most like you?
Well, my favorite literary character is Holden Caulfield, so I suppose I identify mostly with him, just a young introvert trying to find his place in the world.
3. What is the greatest album ever?
The Wallflowers, album with One Headlight on it.
4. Ok, Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter?
Uggh. Neither. I’m not a big fantasy person, but I do enjoy a little Science Fiction, I would go with Stargate!
5. What is your ideal brain food?
Pizza and water.
6. What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
Becoming the youngest war veteran author in the U.S.
7. You want to be remembered for....?
Telling the truth and making a change for good in the military.
8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?
All those who dealt with power and remained humble. Thomas Jefferson, is my intellectual hero.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Financially I would say Harry Potter. But based on pure literature value, I would say Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, or Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
10. Your hidden talents are?
I’m a really fast typer.
About Mass Casualties
“Look around,” the drill sergeant said. “In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can’t stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there.”
It was Week 7 of basic training . . . eighteen years old and I was preparing myself to die.
They say the Army makes a man out of you, but for eighteen-year-old SPC Michael Anthony, this fabled rite of passage is instead a dark and dangerous journey. After obtaining his parents’ approval to enlist at seventeen, Anthony begins this journey with an unshakeable faith in the military based on his family’s long tradition of service. But when he finds himself in a medical unit of misfits as lost as he is, Anthony not only witnesses firsthand the unspeakable horror of war, he experiences the undeniable misconduct of the military. Everything he’s ever believed in dissolves, forcing Anthony to rethink his ideals and ultimately risk his career—and his freedom—to challenge the military that once commanded his loyalty.
This searing memoir chronicles the experiences that change one young soldier forever. A seasoned veteran before the age of twenty-one, he faces the truth about the war—and himself—in this shocking and unprecedented eyewitness account.