I. Mariette Kalinowski, “The Train”

Mariette Kalinowski

Mariette Kalinowski served in Iraq with the US Marines.

The story: A female former Marine, now living in NYC, tries to get on with her life, but is tormented by the memory of the friend she lost in Iraq.

Characters: An unnamed first-person narrator, a female former Marine; a second female Marine named Kavanagh

Themes: Post-war struggle, survivor guilt, women in the military, grieving

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does the narrator like or appreciate about having been a Marine?
  2. Why is the narrator so tormented by Kavanagh’s death?
  3. Is the experience of war seem different for women, based on your understanding of the story?

For further exploration, watch this video of a conversation between Marietta Kalinowski and Phil Klay:

Find “The Train” here:

Fire and Forget


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