is this true?

… if it concurs with the experience of someone you know – or maybe you. From Shannon Meehan’s excellent piece in today’s Home Fires: Killing enemy combatants comes with its own emotional costs. On the surface, we feel as soldiers that killing the enemy should not affect us — it is our job, after all.Continue reading “is this true?”

Leave no FNG behind: thoughts on Kelly Kennedy’s They Fought for Each Other 

I’ve hoped to grow up to be Kelly Kennedy ever since my friend, rockstar author Alia Malek, profiled the Military Times reporter for Columbia Journalism Review. I knew it was impossible, of course, as the very first line of Kennedy’s author bio makes clear: “Kelly Kennedy served as a soldier in Desert Storm and Mogadishu,Continue reading “Leave no FNG behind: thoughts on Kelly Kennedy’s They Fought for Each Other 

Don’t ask, don’t tell — don’t fight? queer notes from another pacifist for soldiers

I mentioned David Mixner back on Groundhog Day, when, appropriately enough, the Senate held their first-ever hearings on DADT. Now, you can click here to read a longer version of my interviews with him, including one about Sec. Gates’ slow-mo plan for repeal. The money quote, to me: If Obama had to live by (DADT)Continue reading “Don’t ask, don’t tell — don’t fight? queer notes from another pacifist for soldiers”

the first lying promise to veterans: outtakes from 1785

When I’m not tracking that moving target, I’m making my last swim through the rest of the book, to tighten the prose and strengthen its themes. Of course, since I’m the one doing it, that latter task means just-a-little-more-research-please —  sifting through old files and asking the scholarship for bits that belong in that zig-zagContinue reading “the first lying promise to veterans: outtakes from 1785”

For black soldiers, the wound goes that far back

The photo is of Sgt. Major Lewis H. Douglass, survivor of the battle of Fort Wagner, who never complained about  his pension but did observe,long before he became outspoken against the next war, that the supposed unity of the “Grand Army of the Republic” —given the differing treatment of black and white veterans groups —Continue reading “For black soldiers, the wound goes that far back”

today is a moving target

First installment in a not-unprecedented effort to start over and draft a NEW final chapter in plain sight So the scene I included in my Murtha-obit post? I once thought of it as a prologue for the entire book — except that even if I,’d been right on deadline, that 2005 scene would have feltContinue reading “today is a moving target”

People who Died: Now Murtha, too (UPDATE Two)

Three obituaries inside a week or so: first the World War II-vet peers Howard Zinn and J.D. Salinger, only one of whom became a dissenter. Now Murtha, of the Vietnam generation but only a dissenter much later, who I sort of pre-eulogized last week when he went into hospital. Respect to CBS News for notContinue reading “People who Died: Now Murtha, too (UPDATE Two)”

Howard Zinn, part two

One of the things that makes me personally sad about Zinn leaving us when he did is that I’d hoped to, when Ain’t Marchin’ finally came out, introduce him to Garett Reppenhagen (left), president of Veterans Green Jobs and former president of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The latter had told me, when I interviewedContinue reading “Howard Zinn, part two”

Howard Zinn

One of the things that makes me personally sad about Zinn leaving us when he did is that I’d hoped, when Ain’t Marchin’ was published, to introduce him to Garett Reppenhagen (left), president of Veterans Green Jobs and former president of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The latter had told me, when I interviewed himContinue reading “Howard Zinn”

get well soon, Rep. Murtha.

Slightly buried yesterday under the DADT news was this: “Murtha hospitalized after gallbladder surgery complications.”  The news about the 77-year-old chairman of the Armed Services Committee, whose spokespeople were by this morning refusing to give updates, was regarded mostly as (sigh) political news, exemplified by the head given by Chris Cilizza at The Fix: JohnContinue reading “get well soon, Rep. Murtha.”