Topic: Reflections

A Veteran’s Odyssey After Hanging up the Uniform in an America He Doesn’t Recognize

“The story of Odysseus is the story of the day after—what happens when the battle is done? … My service wasn’t an accomplishment. It was a liability.”

When I Hear a Far-off Boom, I Imagine the Worst

“I knew I wasn’t in Afghanistan. I knew soldiers weren’t dying in the distance. But in reality, that knowledge didn’t matter.”

“How Would We Know When It Was Over?”–Perspective Is Power in Forever Wars

Since leaving the military, I’ve searched my soul for answers. Did I spend three years of my life fighting a lost cause?
Kacy Tellesen and Kyle Huth on a sweep-and-clear mission in Haqlaniyah, Iraq. Photo courtesy of the author.

Now When I Think About Valentine’s Day, I Think About Grenades

Unlike the movies, the scene doesn’t cut away after a tragedy. You can’t flash forward to a better time.
Future Marines from Marine Corps Recruiting Station Fort Worth get a taste of what recruit training will be like during the station’s Annual Pool Function in 2019.

“What Had We Done to Jeffery?”–Marine Relives Role in Hazing

"I’ll never forget his screams echoing off the block walls of the barracks. No one came to investigate. No one ever came to investigate."

The Grieving for Afghanistan Must be Done as a Community

Like an aircraft struggling to move the weight of two decades’…
Soldiers who died together in Egypt during World War II fighting in North Africa in what is seen as one of the most decisive battles of the war. Photo courtesy of the author.

A Global Crossroads of Military History Buried in an Egyptian Desert

Egypt’s deserts have long demanded the attention of men like my husband, working in the name of Western governments locked in power competition.
Members of the 82nd Airborne head into Iraq on Feb. 24, 1991. Photo courtesy of the author.

Stolen Valor Is So Grubby—Stolen for What? To Impress Who?

Why would he need to claim even my tiny war? That insignificant skirmish? He’d already claimed a Purple Heart—did he need Grenada? Panama?
Alex Perez, far right, with his shipmates on the USS Samuel B. Roberts in 1988. Photo courtesy of the author.

“Hold on to something!”—A Moment that Shifted the Fate of the USS Samuel B. Roberts Crew

“The explosion created a 20-foot hole along the bottom of the ship’s hull. I saw a ball of flame and felt a rush of hot air on my face and arms.”