While reporting on the Battle of Fallujah in 2004 for the Washington Post, Jackie Spinner found herself sitting at a table with Anne Garrels, a Foreign Correspondent for NPR. For Spinner, Fallujah was an initiation to war, and Garrels an experienced reporter whom she admired. As they sat, Garrels slid Spinner a sheet of paper. Written was the name of Garrels' husband and his phone number. Spinner looked at the slip and realized that Garrels, a veteran of many conflicts, was afraid that she might die during the battle. The moment was a revelation for Spinner, for whom the fear of war had already begun to fade. Both survived the following days, but Spinner carried that slip of paper with her for some time after, using it as a reminder of a rule she found to be increasingly apt as time passed: stay scared.
Spinner spent years reporting on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the Washington Post. She is the survivor of an attempted kidnapping, various conflict zones and stateside PTSD. Aft