Lucy is a stereotypically giddy black labradoodle. She's not what you picture when you think of a military dog serving on the front lines in Afghanistan. She wiggles around the room chasing her tennis ball and thinks my microphone cover is a chew toy.
But her handler, Spc. Heath Garcia, says when Lucy is on a mission, she's all business. She's highly trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which are the No. 1 killer of civilians and troops in Afghanistan.
We're going to take a moment now to talk about a word - yep, one word. Maybe you use it all the time or maybe you feel people use the word and it drives you up the wall. I'm talking about the word literally.
You could hardly design a better Hollywood success story than that of powerhouse Rita Moreno: Born Rosa Dolores Alverio in Puerto Rico, she arrived in New York when she was 5 years old. Over the years, she became a talented dancer and ended up in Hollywood, making her mark in musicals like Singin' in the Rain and The King and I before winning an Oscar for her unforgettable turn as Anita in West Side Story.
The Silence and the Roar follows a young man living in an unnamed Middle Eastern country that is in chaos. The book doesn't explicitly take place in Syria, but the similarities between its setting and author Nihad Sirees' home country are undeniable.
Sirees' work has been banned from publication in Syria, where he's considered an opponent of the government — another point at which Sirees' story and that of his protagonist, Fathi Chin, intersect.