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The United States is embroiled in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan—wars that seem as far from Americans’ understanding as they are distant from our shores. With American Veterans on War, Elise Forbes Tripp brings our current wars and their predecessors home in the words of 55 veterans aged 20 to 90. The veterans raise questions about when wars are worth fighting, what missions can and can’t be won, and the costs and benefits of US intervention, both around the world and domestically. Recent veterans tell wrenching stories of coping with hostile forces without uniforms, of not knowing who is friend or foe, and of the lasting traces of combat once they’ve returned home. American Veterans on War provides a sweeping overview of three-quarters of a century of American wars, properly grounding that history in the words of the men and women whose bodies were on the line.
Fighting for the Dream is a collection of oral histories of 40 Chinese American men and women-ages 24 to 94-who served in wars from World War II to conflicts in Afghanistan. These individuals defied boundaries, went against their cultural grain, and changed history. Through their personal stories, we see a greater tapestry that is the story of America in the last hundred years. This collection includes interviews with the first Asian American general (John Fugh), the first Asian American Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy (Frederick Pang), the first Asian American full unrestricted Marine (Kurt Lee), the first Asian American National Commander of the American Legion (Fang Wong), the first Asian American judge in New York State (Randall Eng), as well as some of the 20,000 Chinese Americans - a quarter of the Chinese American population at the time - who served during World War II. This collection also features the stories of: World War II veterans Genson Lum, Peter Woo, Kay Wong Chin, Dr. Wing Mar, Al Chinn, Earl Jung, Tom Wah Sun Lew, Mack Pong, Sam Jue, Richard Y.W. Chin, Richard Goon, Lester Fong, Elsie Seetoo, Wayne H. Wong Korean War veterans Kurt Lee, Rita K. Chow Vietnam War veterans John Gerald Miki, David J. Louie, Gabe Mui, Richard Wong, Thomas Wing Persian Gulf War veterans Tony Lee, Mimi Wang Iraq & Afghanistan veterans Chi Szeto, Pakee Fang, Michael Chan, See-wan Szeto, Welton Chang, Wilem Wong, Cindy Wu, Howard Chin, Cliff Chen, Juliet Shum, Mo Pan, Astrid Szeto, William Chan
There’s no real homecoming for many of our veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They may go through the motions of daily life in their hometowns, but the terrible sights and sounds of war are still fresh in their minds. This empathic, inside look into the lives of our combat veterans reveals the lingering impact that the longest wars in our nation’s history continue to have on far too many of our finest young people. Basing her account on numerous interviews with veterans and their families, the author examines the factors that have made these recent conflicts especially trying. A major focus of the book is the extreme duress that is a daily part of a soldier’s life in combat zones with no clear frontlines or perimeters. Having to cope with unrecognizable enemies in the midst of civilian populations and attacks from hidden weapons like improvised explosive devices exacts a heavy toll. Compounding the problem is the all-volunteer nature of our armed forces, which often demands multiple deployments of enlistees. This results in frequent cases of post-traumatic stress disorder and families disrupted by the long absence of one and sometimes both parents. The author also discusses the lack of connectedness between civilian society and military personnel, leading to inadequate healthcare for many veterans. This deficiency has been highlighted by the urgent need to treat traumatic brain injuries in survivors of explosions and the high veteran suicide rate. Bouvard concludes on a positive note by discussing some of the surprising and encouraging ways that the chasm between civilian and military life is being bridged to help reintegrate our returning soldiers. For veterans, their families, and especially for civilians unaware of how much our soldiers have endured, The Invisible Wounds of War is important reading. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Greatest Generation meets Bloods in this revealing oral history of the unrecognized contributions of African American veterans. Award-winning journalist Yvonne Latty never bothered to find out the extent of her father's service until it was almost too late. Inspired by his moving story -- and eager to uncover the little-known stories of other black veterans, from those who served in the Second World War to the War in Iraq -- Latty set about interviewing veterans of every stripe: men and women; army, navy, and air force personnel; prisoners of war; and brigadier generals. In a book that has sparked discussions in homes, schools, and churches across America, Latty, along with acclaimed photographer Ron Tarver, captures not only what was unique about the experiences of more than two dozen veterans but also why it is important for these stories to be recorded. Whether it's the story of a black medic on Omaha Beach or a nurse who ferried wounded soldiers by heli-copter to medical centers throughout Asia during the Vietnam War, We Were There is a must-have for every black home, military enthusiast, and American patriot.
Nearly 1.9 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001. Many service members and veterans face serious challenges in readjusting to normal life after returning home. This initial book presents findings on the most critical challenges, and lays out the blueprint for the second phase of the study to determine how best to meet the needs of returning troops and their families.
This inspiring anthology is the first to convey the rich experiences and contributions of women in the American military in their own words—from the Revolutionary War to the present wars in the Middle East. Serving with the Union Army during the Civil War as a nurse, scout, spy, and soldier, Harriet Tubman tells what it was like to be the first American woman to lead a raid against an enemy, freeing some 750 slaves. Busting gender stereotypes, Josette Dermody Wingo enlisted as a gunner’s mate in the navy in World War II to teach sailors to fire Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns. Marine Barbara Dulinsky recalls serving under fire in Saigon during the Tet Offensive of 1968, and Brooke King describes the aftermath of her experiences outside the wire with the army in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In excerpts from their diaries, letters, oral histories, and pension depositions—as well as from published and unpublished memoirs—generations of women reveal why and how they chose to serve their country, often breaking with social norms, even at great personal peril.
The impact of war, and the lingering aftereffect it has on both veterans and civilians, is—for myriad reasons—largely invisible to the public. Popular media may create news cycles around horrors or stereotypes, but the effort required to redefine and sustain “normal” lives after war stays below the surface and out of sight. In Retire the Colors, nineteen thought-provoking stories by veterans and civilians consider the residual effects of Iraq and Afghanistan. A pacifist describes her decision to accompany her husband, an Iraq veteran, to the shooting range. A hospital worker in Mosul talks about what happens on a hunting trip back home with his grandfather. A veteran experiences the 2013 Boston marathon. The wife of a combat medic considers their unusual nighttime routines. A mother and former 50 cal gunner navigates truth and lies with her children. These stories offer a grace uncommon in war literature today. They also make an appeal to readers: to witness with compassion the men and women who—because of war—possess the strength to show us what it means to be fully human. Contributors include: Tahani Alsandook, Joseph R. Bawden, Brian Castner, David Chrisinger, David P. Ervin, Teresa Fazio, CH Guise, Colin D. Halloran, Lauren Kay Halloran, Matthew J. Hefti, Brooke King, Randy Leonard, Eva KL Miller, Stewart Moss, Caitlin Pendola, Mark Solheim, Richard Allen Smith, Christopher Stowe, and Melissa Walker.

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