I'd do it, but my career goals are probably different than yours. But the benefits outweigh the negatives in my mind; huge salary, not much to spend money on so saving would be real easy, plenty of time to develop my writing, and a great story to tell people. The negatives are obvious; risk of death (though contractors generally aren't out in the streets so much as in the green zone in bases), long hours (but there's nothing to do but work and bullshit with people), time away from friends and family (but I'm planning on moving to a new city soon anyway with no friends or family). Seeing as how I want to be a writer, I need time to write, which I could get, and I need money to keep me fed, clothed and sheltered. Coming off of 1 (admittedly incredibly hard) year with enough money to focus exclusively on writing for 4 or 5 years easily, well, that's a no-brainer for me. But those are my goals, not yours.