Selected Writing

War Is Hard, But So Is Coming Home

Modern War Institute at West Point

A soldier’s war does not end when he or she leaves the war zone. As this collection vividly shows, soldiers’ experiences come home with them and continue to affect their lives, and the lives of those close to them. The writers whose memories appear in Retire the Colors tell different stories, but all of them […]

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Time is a River

INCOMING: So Say We All

The past doesn’t go anywhere. Time is a river, and you are standing in it. – Utah Phillips Today’s show is split into three parts and three different veteran writers, each focusing respectively on periods before the country went to war after 9/11, during deployment downrange in Iraq, and the aftermath after leaving the service.

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“To My Son On His Eighteenth Birthday”

Task & Purpose

Do not do it. Do not follow after me. At first, they will tell you a lie. Sign here, they will say. Then, when you go to training, they will tell you half-truths. Some will see combat, others might get lucky. But if you do sign away your life, become the property of the government, […]

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A Veteran Wonders: How Will My PTSD Affect My Kids?

The Atlantic

Bowen screamed, “You’re dead.” The boys were in the backyard. I had consented to let them play with their Nerf guns. Bowen was chasing Zachary. The bullets whizzed out in automatic fire. Bowen’s finger was mashed down on the trigger. Zachary was running frantically side to side trying to dodge the foam bullets. They bounced […]

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Permanent

O-Dark-Thirty

Across the aisle from my hooch, Private Ricky Sullivan sat on his stoop in full battle rattle clinging tightly to a set of dogtags that weren’t his. Rubbing them back and forth between his fingers, he gently wiped the blood from the name that lay stamped into its silver face. He lowered his head, the […]

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