One of the strengths of this book is its full spectrum of viewpoints and experiences. Some spoke to their deep sense of pride in serving one’s nation while others voiced deep anti-war sentiment. Feelings of blame, guilt, excitement, friendship, and anguish are all depicted. Of all the many writings, which piece struck an emotional chord with you and why?
In Camp Muckamungus, Staff Sargeant Parker Gyokeres pointed out the many absurdities of day to day life in the desert, exclaiming, “This place truly never ceases to trip me out.” Others, like Lt. Colonel Stephen McAllister’s piece, Force Providers, pointed out the absurdities of military life. What struck you as absurd or comical about your time in service? And, what surprised you the most?
The editor, Andrew Carroll, noted that time and time again he heard contributors lament how little civilians know about the armed forces. Some writings like Corporal Michael Poggi’s Shallow Hands and Sergeant Michael A. Thomas’s 3 AM in Bangor, Maine expressed how difficult it was for their loved ones to fully comprehend what they’ve gone through while overseas. What were your impressions when you first came back home? How different was it for your loved ones? What do you want civilians to know?
Lastly, have you written letters, emails, poems or short stories about your experiences? If so, were they similar to any in the book? Does reading this book inspire you to capture your experiences through writing or the arts?