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From the Battlefields of Iraq to HBO: Rudy Reyes

Rudy Reyes in the KCUR studio.
Photo by Sylvia Marie Gross
Rudy Reyes in the KCUR studio.

The story of a Marine Veteran who fought in an elite Recon unit in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then played himself in the HBO series Generation Kill.By Sylvia Maria Gross


Kansas City, MO – Rudy Reyes was an unlikely Marine, with a new-age spirituality, and deadly combat skills. Reyes recently served three tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. His elite Reconaissance unit was one of the first sent behind enemy lines during the invasion of Iraq, and later in the Battle of Fallujah. The story of that unit, as told by embedded Rolling Stones reporter Evan Wright, became a book called Generation Kill, and then a series on HBO.

Rudy Reyes actually played himself in the HBO version of Generation Kill. He had abruptly left the Marines, after trying to help an Iraqi family came into conflict with his job as a soldier. So now he's finding a new identity as an actor, writer, fitness guru and military advisor.

Reyes' book Hero Living: Seven Strides to Awaken Your Infinite Power is part memoir, part self-help. In it, he tells his own story, of how an obsession with superheroes helped him get through a harrowing childhood here in Kansas City.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

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