continued One of those boys is Joseph Wood, the soldier-turned-fashion-student recently profiled in New York magazine. Wood joined the Army "before 9/11. I needed college money, I wanted to get away from home, and I wanted to do some kind of crazy experience -- jump out of helicopters." His enthusiasm for military life survived boot camp but perished soon after his arrival in the 82nd Airborne. By the time he met Scott and Olds, he was feeling disillusioned and ready to get out.
"I was against the war," he says, "and some of the buddies I lived with were too. We would talk about it amongst ourselves. But once Ian and Garrett came over, it was good to be able to talk to someone external. Right off the bat, they felt really trustworthy. They were able to kind of talk me through things, help me articulate what I was thinking. I didn't know about Halliburton. They gave me some reading material; we discussed it a lot in the first couple of days. It was great, because a lot of the guys in the military are like myself, and they have no political frame of mind. And with the camera in front of me, it was a new way of speaking. It wasn't like preaching to the choir; it was like telling someone."
Meeting Scott and Olds is one of the reasons Wood doesn't regret going into the Army. "I had a lot of good times and met a lot of great people. But it seems like it was meant for me to be in the Army -- this whole road I went down, one thing after another. It's like everything kind of worked out perfectly for me to be in that certain place in time to meet these guys. I had the privilege of living with them and getting to be friends with them. And, of course, moving to New York City and being around them. Our friendship grew; I didn't look at them like these guys I met in Iraq; it was like these guys I've always known."
These were Scott's friends, and they praise his friendship with the same emotion as they praise his work. Matthew knew Scott in San Francisco, "when he was sort of kicking around the idea of Cul De Sac in his head. I just remember long discussions, and we became fast, fast friends. The night before he died, I was sitting at work telling a friend of mine about my friend Garrett, about his film. I realized I was telling this person how proud I was to have someone like Garrett in my life." His girlfriend Rachel met him when she showed Cul De Sac as part of a film series. What attracted her? "His intellect" is her first response. But then she adds, "The fact that he would meet you and be, like, 'Hello.' " By way of illustration, she wraps her fingers around my arm and squeezes gently, fixing me with an engaging stare. "His absolute warmth."