Spring is still trying to kick winter out. We were sunny and gloriously warm yesterday and sunny today, but windy and cold. But I’ve been able to do some tulip sight-seeing. I think they’re probably only a couple days away from passing the torch to the next batch of flowers.
This week has another anniversary: The KA-Bar, which is a military knife. This is like an all-purpose knife. When you look at the link, skip over the first picture, which is a bit disturbing.
When I was in Desert Storm, I was one of the few in my unit to be issued one, or one that was like a KA-Bar. The knife came with a whetstone, which it needed. It dulled cutting through air!
I worked on fuel point, filling up the convoys that came in, and issued POL–Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricant (it’s been so many years that I had to think about what stood for).
Knives are useful things. I used to have a Swiss Army knife like MacGyver (the 1990s version, not this remake, which has none of the charm or fun). I was surprised at how many uses I had for it. Of course now it’s hard to carry a knife anywhere, even it’s small and for everyday use. People are so afraid that someone will do something something bad with it. In Washington, DC, we have to go through metal detectors to get into the museums, and bags are subject to searches.
Things have changed a lot from when a knife was just a tool we used every day.
Fear is something Private Carolyn Mendez can’t admit to. Yet, as she arrives in Saudi Arabia, for Desert Storm, deploying to war, it’s all she can think about. All she has is herself, and even that is scary.
Desert Storm war veteran Linda Maye Adams shows the diversity of what war is like for the women who deploy in this collection of short stories and poetry. The stories run from “First Night,” and “Between Black and White,” because war seldom ends when the war does.
The poems include:
A Woman Goes to War
Once Upon a Time
The Lonely Sounds of War
No Safe Places
Just Like Me
Flash fiction stories and poetry collection available from your favorite booksellers.
The voices of women veterans are not well-represented generally. While I prefer to do it in other kinds of fiction, here are some historical stories about the experience, and even some poetry. The pages to the first three are still coming.
Even as we celebrate the return of our military from wars in the Middle East, we are becoming increasingly aware of the struggles that await veterans on the home front. Red, White, and True offers readers a collection of voices that reflect the experiences of those touched by war-from the children of veterans who encounter them in their fathers’ recollections of past wars to the young men and women who fought in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The diversity of perspectives collected in this volume validates the experiences of our veterans and their families, describing their shared struggles and triumphs while honoring the fact that each person’s military experience is different.
Leila Levinson’s powerful essay recounts her father’s experience freeing a POW camp during World War II. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder provides a chilling account of being a new second lieutenant in Vietnam. Army combat veteran Brooke King recounts the anguish of raising her young children by day while trying to distinguish between her horrific memories of IED explosions in Baghdad and terrifying dreams by night.
These individual stories of pain and struggle, along with twenty-nine others, illustrate the inescapable damage that war rends in the fabric of society and celebrate our dauntless attempts to repair these holes with compassion and courage.