Today we celebrate Veterans Day (also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day), a time to look back at the sacrifices members of the military and their families have made. In honor of the holiday, this special post provides books in the Bookshare collection that focus on the military, their families, and remembrance. I’ve also included books authored by veterans that share deeply personal experiences of war. We hope you enjoy the recommendations. Thank you to all who have served and are serving our country.
Bookshare Military Special Collection:
Books by or for veterans:
Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming by Jonathan Shay — Shay uses Homer’s classic story of a soldier’s homecoming to illuminate the real problems faced by combat veterans reentering civilian society. Drawing on his years of experience working with Vietnam veterans, Shay illustrates how the Odyssey can be read as a metaphor for the pitfalls that trap many veterans on the road back to civilian life.
Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace by Maxine Hong Kingston — A collection of essays, poems, and stories of 82 veterans from five wars.
Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul: Stories to Stir the Pride and Honor the Courage of Our Veterans by Sidney R. Slagter, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield — Stories to celebrate the courage and sacrifices of our veterans.
Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families by Keith Armstrong, Paula Domenici, Suzanne Best — The bravery displayed by our soldiers at war is commonly recognized. However, often forgotten is the courage required by veterans when they return home and suddenly face reintegration into their families, workplaces, and communities.
A Few Good Women: America’s Military Women from World War I to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee, Evelyn M. Monahan — The never-before-told story of the U. S. women’s military corps
The Nightingale’s Song by Robert Timberg — A terrific book about courage and cowardice, honor and betrayal, suffering and death, and the indomitability of the human spirit.
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson — On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border.
War by Sebastian Junger — Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat–the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another.
Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character by Jonathan Shay — The book examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer’s Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien — They carried malaria tablets, love letters, mine detectors, dope, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war in South Vietnam.
What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It by Trish Wood, Bobby Muller — “A visceral account of the war . . . honest, agenda-free, and chilling.”
James Webb’s novels, especially Fields of Fire, belong on this list.