Posts

Hunter Lu, back toward camera, shares a toast with his mother, father, and grandfather. Photo courtesy of the author.

An Army Interrogator, His Grandfather, and a Bond Across Two Wars 

“My parents, like most Chinese immigrants, valued education as the ultimate achievement,” writes veteran Hunter Lu. “The military was for dumb people.”

An Iraqi man out on patrol with U.S. soldiers takes a break beneath a bridge. Photo by Nathan S. Webster.

A Journalist’s Favorite Image Mirrors a  Loss

A journalist learns of death that paralleled the moment he took his favorite picture.

Roy and Andrew van Wey in Husaybah, Iraq. Photo courtesy of the author.

“They Didn’t Make It?”—When Your Brother’s Homecoming Starts in a Burn Ward

After an IED exploded in Iraq, a badly burned Marine asks his brother if his teammates survived. “He knows I won’t lie to him. We are both warriors.”

Master Sgt. Darryl Sterling, 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron equipment manager, throws trash into a burn pit at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in 2008. Photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter, courtesy U.S. Air Force.

“It’s so inaccurate”—How the VA Is Failing to Track Veterans Burn Pit Claims

VA figures show an astonishingly low rate of approval of burn pit claims: Of the 10,588 claims, 2,360 veterans had their benefits granted and 8,228 were denied.

Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Clanin and a platoon sergeant with Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, lead their soldiers on a patrol through the Jamila neighborhood of Sadr City in 2008. Photo by Sgt. Michael Pryor, courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Hellfire in Sadr City

As a platoon searched for bombs, the enemy tried to attack them. It didn’t end well.