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Category Archives: In Their Own Words

First-person stories from veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq and from their families.

In His Own Words – Shaw Pick on the Army’s Wired Generation

            Other than just generally getting peppered with mortars and stuff, it was a pretty uneventful six months. There was only one close call, really close call, for me…              …in the artillery, my first assignment, I’d be walking through the woods with a spool of wire. [Now,] everything’s gone to satellite….              He might [...]

In Their Own Words: Carla and Matthew Wiese on War, Parenthood, and PTSD

            We were always under the impression that the Air Force would do as much as they could to avoid deploying us simultaneously, especially since we were dual-military and we had a child at home. But obviously we knew that the possibility could arise, and that’s what happened.             It’s quite a bit different taking [...]

In Their Own Words – Erik Crouch and Ryan Schloesser on the battle for Mullah Wasir

They had a whole trench network laid out, they had bunker complexes. They were prepared for us…. It was probably only a couple seconds before one of the enemy from on the hilltop was able to get a shot off and shot the other medic in the head…. …we were taking rounds just over my [...]

Publications – 2004-2010 articles telling individual stories

Learning From Veterans began as a project I did interviewing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for my longtime employer, National Journal. NJ relies on subscription revenue and guards its archives jealously, but the editors there have generously unlocked all my articles that draw on these military oral histories and made them available to the public for [...]