Today the term Veteran encompasses a wider range of people than it ever has in the past. People of different races, genders and sexual orientation, all of whom have or had one thing in common – the willingness to serve and defend our country as a member of the Armed Forces.
Valor – unsung heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the home front by Mark Lee Greenblatt. Mark Lee Greenblatt interviewed Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine veterans of America’s most recent wars to gather their incredible stories in their own words. Many of these soldiers have risked their lives multiple times for their fellow solideris and their country. Until now, however their stories have largely gone unnoticed by the public.
Soldier Girls – the battles of three women at home and at war by Helen Thorpe. Journalist Helen Thorpe tells the moving story of three women in the Indiana National Guard who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following her subjects from 2001 to 2013, Thorpe draws on interviews, personal correspondence, emails, diaries, medical records, and even therapists’ notes to portray their lives before, during, and after deployments.
The long walk – a story of war and the life that follows by Brian Castner
Air Force officer Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. This memoir graphically recounts not only his time at war, but also the toll war takes on the men and women fighting it, both during active duty and again when they return home. When Castner returned home to his wife and family, he began a struggle with a no less dangerous situation – PTSD and survivor’s guilt that he terms “The Crazy.”
In 2003, after serving five and a half years as a carpenter in a North Dakota National Guard engineer unit, Bronson Lemer was ready to leave the military behind. But six months short of completing his commitment to the army, Lemer was deployed on a yearlong tour of duty to Iraq. Leaving college life behind in the Midwest, he yearns for a lost love and quietly dreams of a future as an openly gay man outside the military. He discovers that his father’s lifelong example of silent strength has taught him much about being a man, and these lessons help him survive in a war zone and to conceal his sexuality, as he is required to do by the U.S. military.
Navy SEAL dogs – my tale of training canines for combat by Mike Ritland
Trident K9 Warriors gave readers an inside look at the SEAL teams’ elite K9 warriors- who they are, how they are trained, and the extreme missions they undertake to save lives. From detecting explosives to eliminating the bad guys, these powerful dogs are also some of the smartest and highest skilled working animals on the planet. Mike Ritland’s job is to train them. This is the story of how he became their trainer.
Armistice Day or Veterans Day? Which is it?
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918 World War I ended. All fighting ceased when an armistice – a temporary cessation of hostilities – was declared between the Allied forces and the German Central Powers. Officially, the war ended seven months later with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles at the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France on June 28, 1919.
The following November, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day – the day that ended the war of all wars. Between 1920 and 1937 twenty seven states made November 11 a legal holiday. An act approved May 13, 1938 made Armistice Day a legal federal holiday to honor the veterans of WWI.
Sixteen years and two additional wars later, in 1954, the 83rd Congress amended the 1938 act that created the holiday and changed the word “Armistice” to “Veterans” to honor veterans of WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, as well as all those who fight for our country in the future. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954.