Darin Pepple served 15 years in the U.S. Army, advancing from private to captain and doing two tours in Iraq. He led soldiers on hundreds of combat patrols and was involved in reconstruction efforts in that country.
Following his service he wrote his debut novel, “Dodgebomb.” It was inspired by his transition out of the military and his attempts to explain his Iraq War experience to average Americans.
“The inspiration for the book came when I was getting out of the Army in 2015 and I was trying to make sense of it all,” said Pepple, a member of American Legion Post 1976 in Annandale, Va. “That sort of translated to Iraq and what did these foreign wars mean and trying to make sense of my service. It became like a transition-mechanism catharsis.”
The book is satirical in nature.
“A lot of these characters are drawn from reality and our operations there. But since it is fiction I can say and do things that didn’t really happen. It’s a safer way to do it.”
Describing himself as a “surly veteran,” Pepple says the book is a way to highlight his positive experiences and friendships from his time in the service.
“Some of my finest memories are really what this book is about,” he said. “That’s why I had to capture it, for posterity.”
This episode is one of more than 90 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts that are available at this web page. You can also download them on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or other major podcast-hosting sites. You can also view all of the episodes on the Legion’s YouTube channel.