Topic: Reflections

Members of the Fort Hood and Killeen community gathered in July for a candlelight vivil for Spc. Vanessa Guillen and her family. Photo by Army Spc. Lesha Little, courtesy of U.S. Army.

I Am Vanessa Guillen

A veteran relives her trauma through the headlines.
Emily Miller celebrates National Coming Out Day at Harvard Business School with the school’s LGBT student association.

Gay Veteran Sees Racism as a Tougher Fight

All movements must include the fight against racism—and that looks different from other protests.
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.

Hellfires and “Half-Smashed Bugs” in Sadr City

As a platoon searched for bombs, the enemy tried to attack them. It didn’t end well.
Naylon on an operation in a village outside of Bagram, Afghanistan, 2014. Photo credit: Spc. Jamill Ford for U.S. Army

Leaders Are Forged as a Rocket Falls

In a time of crisis, initiative trumps authority when authority fails to lead.
The “Dirty Bastards” quick reaction force, made up of both American and Italian soldiers, poses at Forward Operating Base Lavaredo in Afghanistan in 2012. Photo courtesy of Nate Tilton.

How Being “In on the [Racist] Joke” Silences Service Members

Service members often feel compelled to laugh along at racist jokes and comments.

Moving Again. And Again. My Experience as a Military Spouse.

It’s not easy to start over in a new place, and few people understand this better than a military spouse.
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Oct. 8, 2013) Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) fight a fire during a basic shipboard firefighting course at Surface Warfare Officer School Engineering Learning Site Yokosuka. The site provides education and training in support of surface Navy requirements that prepare officer and enlisted engineers to serve at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Abby Rader/Released)

A Sailor Signs Up to Escape Poverty, Finds Terror Instead

His blue shirt was not enough to hold back that much water.

A Fake Raid, A Fake Village, and a Sinking Track

"We’re piled on top of each other at 15, sometimes 20 at a time, in a vehicle built for 12." A Marine reflects on a narrow escape at sea.

Finding Peace in Lederhosen

A jaded Gulf War veteran needed a break, and found it in a small Bavarian town. A reflection by Dave Boe