Congressman Ruben Gallego wrote a book, “They Called us Lucky”, recounting his service during the Iraq war

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Congressman Ruben Gallego’s new book is titled, “They Called Us Lucky,” and it chronicles the Congressman’s combat-experiences in Iraq, where he served in one of the war’s hardest hit units. We spoke to Congressman Gallego about the book and his service.

“I actually wrote it for the guys I served with. The book was for them and the families of the men that we lost. This is a book that a lot of us in my unit have been wanting to write for awhile. I tried to avoid writing it because it’s emotionally draining, it is very traumatizing for me to open up these wounds again but I wanted to do it,” Gallego said.

He continued that he went to therapy and has been in the right frame of mind and felt this was the perfect time to write it.

The book is titled, “They Called us Lucky” because his unit, once named “lucky Lima”, went through two months of intense combat without a scratch but then the opposite happened and they ended up taking the most casualties of the Iraq war. The book title attests to that experience.

“By the time 23 men had died, at that point in my company. 1 out of 3 of us were either dead or wounded and then some men just had to go home because they couldn’t deal with the stress anymore and after I saw another trap blow up in front of me which I think was also supposed to hit me, I accepted that I was going to die,” Gallego said.

He shared that he made peace with the idea of dying but, “I just wanted to make sure that I died with dignity, that I was not going to be a coward and that I was going to go out fighting but it was actually very comforting in that sense at that point because it was so stressful to figure out how to stay alive.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego, (D) AZ District 7

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