Feature

The rock star warrior

Jason Everman likens the exhilaration of warfare to playing in a rock band.

Jason Everman went from rock casualty to war hero, said Clay Tarver in The New York Times. In his youth, the guitarist was kicked out of two of the most influential grunge bands—Nirvana and then Soundgarden—for being too “moody.” So he decided to do something different. “I [had already been] in the cool bands,” said Everman, 45. “I was psyched to do the most uncool thing you could possibly do.” He joined the Army, cut off his long hair, and threw himself into military training—so successfully that he was transferred to the Special Forces. He rode on horseback through Afghanistan during the post-9/11 invasion, and later stormed into Iraq aboard a Humvee. “Iraqi tanks were exploding all around, turrets shooting off into the desert. I saw stuff I never thought I’d see.” He likens the exhilaration of warfare to playing in a rock band. “The bond of locking shields with each other to defeat a common enemy, it’s a heightened state. Everyone looks around and you know something cool is going on there.” Both careers, he says, require a similar mix of discipline and unruly energy. “In [rock] there’s an extreme kind of conformity to all the non-conformity. You realize in all this rebellion, everyone’s doing the same thing.”

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