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War zones and writing that heals

Veteran's Day honors members of the military who have served in times of war and peace. These stories honor their journeys.

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090807-M-6993C-022On Veterans Day, we honor all members of the U.S. Armed Forces for their service in war and peace.  And yet it may be difficult for those of us who have not experienced war to comprehend what soldiers and veterans have experienced. However, writing has consistently been a place for remembrance and rehabilitation. The following list of stories honors that journey in the hopes that those who have served, and those who have not, can share understanding.

Words that honor our past in peace and war

  • This collection of seven stories pays homage to the hardships and trauma that accompany battle, as well as the soldiers who endure them.
  • Often, the most difficult part of experiencing trauma comes afterwards, when coming to terms with the past and the pain. This article explores a Goddard College program founded to help participants write through traumatic experiences.
  • For a look into the often dark and sometimes humorous realities of contemporary warfare, check out this interview with writer and U.S. Marine officer, Phil Klay.
  • In this story, poet and educator Bruce Weigl offers insights into how poetry has helped him manage wartime memories. “The day I saw that my experience in the war is what I had to pursue,” says Weigl. “I was elated and terrified at the same time.”
  • “The Things He Carries” is an in-depth interview with Vietnam War vet and author Tim O’Brien. O’Brien has used his experiences during war as key elements in his work including the collection of short stories The Things They Carried.
  • A writer living in Iraq during wartime reflects on how words both helped him and became an obsession. Can writing sometimes take you too close to your emotions?


Originally Published