One August day, veteran Marcus Eriksen set off on a journey down the entire length of the great Mississippi River on a homemade raft kept afloat by 232 empty soda bottles, recycled junk, and a dose of ingenuity. Though he had never made such a trip before—2,000 miles from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, past his childhood home near New Orleans, to the Gulf of Mexico—he had dreamed of doing it over a decade earlier, while serving amid sandstorms and oil fires in Kuwait as a marine in the Gulf War.
A classic American story of a young man’s return from war and his search for peace—while rafting the entire length of the Mississippi River.
Introduction and Chapter 1
Chapter 4 – A Novice in Unfamiliar Territory
Like Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Eriksen takes us on an extraordinary journey; home from war, chaos, and sorrow, down the mighty Mississippi. . . . A beautiful story of healing, hope, faith, and renewal. Eriksen searches to find meaning in all that has been lost and all that has been wasted.
—Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July
“His is a complex, subtle portrait of what makes the warrior spirit-whether fighting for his country abroad or fighting for peace at home . . . Marcus Eriksen, a hero indeed, speaks for soldiers everywhere when he writes of the need for peace.”
—Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune
“All politicians considering war as a policy tool—especially those with no personal military experience—should read this book, and take special note of Marcus Eriksen’s epiphany as he wandered with his brother amongst Iraqi corpses during the Gulf War. ‘I’m glad it wasn’t us,’ says his brother. Eriksen, with the added perspective of the current Iraq War, finds devastating precision for his response: ‘But it was.’ The futility and tragedy of war is made agonizingly clear by the inspirational journeys recounted with searing elegance in My River Home.”
—Peter Laufer, author of Mission Rejected: U. S. Soldiers Say No to Iraq