What’s The Opposite Of A Chickenhawk?

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

A brave dove:

"I just want to get it done, come home, and continue my life."

Those were just about the last words that Gennaro Pellegrini, Jr. — a 31-year-old Philly cop and up-and-coming boxer — said to us when we spoke last last November. In less than 48 hours, Pellegrini was about to step onto an airplane bound for Iraq, along with the rest of his Pennsylvania National Guard unit from Northeast Philadelphia.

For anyone who’s worried about the return of a military draft, Pellegrini was living proof that we already have one in George W. Bush’s America. He desperately did not want to serve in the Persian Gulf.

He was just two weeks away from finishing up his six-year stint in the Guard when he was told that his tour of duty was being extended and that he would serve in Iraq for at least a year, maybe longer. The news could not have come at a worse time for Pellegrini. He was training for his first pro fight, newly engaged to be married, and settling into his job as a Philadelphia police officer, just like his dad.

Instead, he was ordered by his government to fight a war that he did not believe in. He told us that the conflict in Iraq was "a so-called war" and that he saw U.S. troops as caught in an impossible situation.

In the end, Pellegrini’s stay in Iraq lasted little more than eight months. Yesterday morning, his parents were notified that he had been killed in action. So far, no specifics have been released…