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Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank You, Vets

USMC War Memorial in DC (Iwo Jima)

In my family, Veterans' Day is doubly special because it also happens to be my grandfather's birthday - and he also happens to be a Marine Corps veteran.

Last month, I sat down with him -  and his brother, my great uncle Ted -  to talk about their time with the Corps. It was the longest, most comprehensive conversation I've had with them about their service, about day-to-day life in the middle of a war, and I loved hearing their stories. I was researching practicalities for Walking Wounded, but I came away from that afternoon with so much creative energy and excitement about the book. I'm so grateful to them both for sharing their experiences with me - there is truly no substitute for a first-person account - and I'm a little nervous about getting it all right.

The thing about war stories: within them we find both the worst, and the shining best of humankind. We see tragedy, and we see a kind of bravery most of us, safe and warm in our beds, cannot fathom. The military history of this nation is one stunning tale after the next, a patchwork quilt of stories from the men and women who've served, stitched together with great pride and patriotism. To study it will make you feel small - in the very best way.

I'm thankful every day for the veterans who have, who do, and who will serve this country. Thank you, all.

Happy Veterans' Day.

Korean War Memorial in DC

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