“War,” by Sebastian Junger

I first went to war when I was thirty-one. I grew up in a wealthy suburb. I spent my twenties writing short stories and trying to wait tables. And I got to thirty, and I guess the best way to say it is I didn’t feel like I was a man. And I thought war would be exciting and intense, and that it would transform me in some way.

So I got a backpack, and I put a sleeping bag in it and some notebooks and pens and a few thousand dollars, and I went to Bosnia during the civil war, to Sarajevo, to try to learn to be a war reporter…