Stories & Service

Veteran storytelling: Strength through Serving

What follows are stories from The Strongest Generation — people united by their experiences in connection with America’s longest war. Some stories are those of our Veterans. Other stories are the untold experiences of the parents, spouses, and children of our Veterans.

These are stories told directly by Veterans and family members. I thank them for having the courage to write and to you for reading with an open heart.

  • Let No One Sit Alone

    November 24, 2020 by

    Shoulders slightly hunched, grey slacks, a simple button-down shirt, and a face hidden by a mask. One lone voice danced with the solitary music of a piano, so crisp compared to the many voices of a choir. The sunlight held him, softened by its journey through the stained glass windows that surrounded the sanctuary. He… Read more

  • Sharing Our Best with America

    November 15, 2020 by

    Grinning youthful faces, covered in dust, wearing sunglasses, armed… My social media fills with memories on Veterans Day when my friends and family uploaded pictures. The pictures take me way back — to places with sand, rooms made of plywood, and the howl of a UH60 main transmission. We lived for hot meals and real… Read more

  • Extended

    November 7, 2020 by

    I expected it would happen…but held out hope that it wouldn’t. In 2007, when I was getting on a plane to Iraq for my first deployment, the US military was in a surge. It was in the news. It was all we talked about. Everyone in our unit knew of units that had been extended.… Read more

  • Whoever Sits In the Chair

    June 9, 2020 by

    I was slow to get out of the car. This was the first African-American funeral I had been assigned to work. I wasn’t from the South and I’d been raised in a largely white community. I had no idea how the families would react to a white, female officer providing military honors for their Veteran.… Read more

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