Promoted as “the war to end all wars,” World War I began the tradition of honoring our nation’s veterans on November 11. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month saw the end of hostilities between the Allies and Germany. The annual Veterans Day Celebration at John Tyler Community College is scheduled for next Monday, November 12.
To understand and appreciate the sacrifices veterans have made why not read a book about military service? The recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have inspired a new generation of authors to write both moving fictional accounts as well as stirring non-fictional reporting about the perils of military service including the difficulties faced by families on the home front. Among the books owned by the John Tyler libraries are:
- Lone survivor: the eyewitness account of Operation Redwing and the lost heroes of SEAL Team 10 / Marcus Luttrell; with Patrick Robinson: The leader, and only survivor, of a team of U.S. Navy SEALs sent to northern Afghanistan to capture a well-known al Qaeda leader chronicles the events of the battle that killed his teammates and offers insight into the training of this elite group of warriors.
- The good soldiers / David Finkel: In the tradition of “Black Hawk Down,” The Good Soldiers takes an unforgettable look at the heroes and the ruined soldiers fighting in the Iraq War.
- The Junior Officers’ Reading Club: killing time and fighting wars / Patrick Hennessey. A revelatory first-hand account of a young enlistee’s profound coming of age and how boys grow into men amid the frenetic, sometimes exhilarating violence, frequent boredom, and almost overwhelming responsibilities that frame a soldier’s experience and the way we fight today.
Fictional accounts including stories about families left at home:
- Home Front/ Kristen Hannah: Struggling with a marital estrangement that is further complicated when one of them is deployed, military couple Michael and Joleen Zarkades are forced to confront their problems while protecting the security of their family.
- One Was a Soldier/ Julia Spencer-Fleming: As five Iraq veterans struggle to adjust to life after brutal tours of service, an effort complicated by permanent injuries and PTSD, they investigate the murder of one of their own.
- Alice Bliss/ Laura Harrington: Follows the experiences of teenage Alice during her father’s deployment to Iraq, an agonizing waiting period during which she gains new independence and falls in love while trying to be strong for her mother and younger sister.
- Yellow Birds/ Kevin Powers: Two friends, both U.S. soldiers in Iraq, cling to life and each other as a bloody fight to take control of the city of Al Tafar rages around them and they stave off fatigue, mental stress and insurgents. More to come on this in a future Fiction Friday post.
(All annotations from the publisher)