ICMY (in case you missed it) Paul Kramer on "the untold story of the Iraq war’s toll on New Orleans" in Slate (with research sponsored by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.)
Something about walking naked through the ruins of St. Bernard Parish at 2 in the morning helped Tech Sgt. Mickey Giovingo leave Iraq. Since returning from war, he had slept in his car in the driveway of his smashed, cream-colored ranch house, in his uniform—the only clothing he had. He remembers sitting out there at night, thinking, “There are more noises at night in the desert than here.” He was hypervigilant, startling at the smallest sounds. Sometimes, he went out on patrol. He’d hear a car pull up and head over to confront the driver; copper thieves were ransacking abandoned houses, tearing out their plumbing. He says he never threatened them but told the invaders to leave or he’d call the police. He always took along the gun he’d bought as soon as he arrived home, tucked behind his back. “A combat-mode kind of thing,” he said. One night, the isolation felt unbearable, and he had an idea. He took off his clothes, put on his tennis shoes, and went out into the devastation. He’d been subject to military discipline for months. He’d lost everything. Walking up the street stripped bare, he at last felt under his own command. When else could he do this without getting thrown in jail? “It was freeing,” he said.