|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|