Saluting service: Veterans Day books

Saturday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and the perfect time to stop, reflect on the service of all those that served in the armed forces and thank them.

While many people have never served, there are plenty of good reads out there to get an understanding of the courage and bravery of those that served.

Those that have served face challenges as they return to civilian life.

Below are a selection of books to give readers an idea of what service is like as well as books to help veterans transition to college or filing medical paperwork.

To all the veterans: thank you for your service.

Voices of War

Author: Library of Congress, Tim Weiner

An oral history of the themes of war provides letters, photographs, and sketches, from from U.S. veterans’ that have fought in World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf.

Wounded Warrior Handbook

Author: Janelle Hill

The typical wounded soldier must complete and file twenty-two forms after an active-duty injury. To soldiers and their families coping with the shock and reality of the injuries, figuring out what to do next–even completing tasks that seem easy like submitting paperwork–can be overwhelming and confusing. The second edition of this popular resource guide has been thoroughly revised to reflect new policies, additional benefits, updated procedures, and changes to insurance, including traumatic injury insurance and social security disability insurance.

Heart of a Patriot

Author: Max Cleland

A searing memoir of recovery and triumph by one of America’s finest patriots, detailing his remarkable journey from smalltown Georgia to Vietnam to a U.S. Senate seat, his trajectory serving as scaffolding for a withering critique of the Bush administration’s handling of September 11.charlie-mike

Charlie Mike 

Author: Joe Klein

The story of two decorated combat veterans linked by tragedy, who came home from the Middle East and found a new way to save their comrades and heal their country. This is one of the most hopeful stories to emerge from Iraq and Afghanistan–a saga of lives saved, not wasted.

From Army to College

Author: Jillian Ventrone

Today’s soldiers are highly motivated to serve, but face numerous challenges, especially considering the sacrifices they have made over the past decade of war. As the service branches face budget cuts and draw downs, soldiers need to be aware of the resources and options available to help make them more competitive for promotion or more credible for potential civilian-sector employers.

Flashback

Author: Dan Simmons

The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn’t care: they’re addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom’s wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he’s lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.

Purple Hearts & Wounded Spirits

Author: Brian Moore

In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, Christian educator Brian Moore found himself unable to quiet the horror and rage in his heart. When his unit of the Army National Guard deployed to Iraq about a year later he gladly took up his gun, prepared to seek justice for his country. Yet from his first step into a battle-zone in the Middle East it became clear that his expectations of Iraq, its people, and war in general would be challenged.

Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace

Collected by: Maxine Hong Kingston

This poignant collection, compiled from Kingston’s healing workshops, contains the distilled wisdom of survivors of five wars, including combatants, war widows, spouses, children, conscientious objectors, and veterans of domestic abuse. Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace includes accounts from people that grew up in military families, served as medics in the thick of war, or came home to homelessness. All struggle with trauma – PTSD, substance abuse, and other consequences of war and violence. Through their extraordinary writings, readers witness worlds coming apart and being put back together again through liberating insight, community, and the deep transformation that is possible only by coming to grips with the past.portraits-of-courage

Portraits of Courage

Author: George Bush

Growing out of President Bush’s own outreach and the ongoing work of the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the United States military who have served our nation with honor since 9/11–and whom he has come to know personally.

For Love of Country

Author: Howard Schultz

A celebration of the extraordinary courage, dedication, and sacrifice of this generation of American veterans on the battlefield and their equally valuable contributions on the home front. Because so few of us now serve in the military, our men and women in uniform have become strangers to us. We stand up at athletic events to honor them, but we hardly know their true measure. Here, Starbucks CEO and longtime veterans’ advocate Howard Schultz and National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post offer an enlightening, inspiring corrective. The authors honor acts of uncommon valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, including an Army sergeant who repeatedly runs through a storm of gunfire to save the lives of his wounded comrades; two Marines who sacrifice their lives to halt an oncoming truck bomb and protect thirty-three of their brothers in arms; a sixty-year-old doctor who joins the Navy to honor his fallen son.

Soldier Girls

Author: Helen Thorpe

In Soldier Girls , Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home…and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have illicit affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again.

Tough as They Come

Author: Travis Mills

Thousands of soldiers die every year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost–Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation.<br>  <br> Suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that he no longer had arms or legs, Travis was faced with a future drastically different from the one he had imagined for himself. He would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter.<br>  <br> Travis struggled through the painful and anxious days of rehabilitation so that he could regain the strength to live his life to the fullest.  With enormous willpower and endurance, the unconditional love of his family, and a generous amount of faith, Travis shocked everyone with his remarkable recovery. Even without limbs, he still swims, dances with his wife, rides mountain bikes, and drives his daughter to school.

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