Elliot Ackerman served five tours of duty as a Marine and CIA officer in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He spent a year as a White House Fellow and currently splits his time between Washington, DC, and southern Turkey, where he writes on the Syrian Civil War. His work has appeared in Politico and theNewerYork, and his debut novel is forthcoming from Scribner. “Charlie Balls” is his first published story.