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.

  • Welcome to the 1%

    May 7, 2020 by

    Sitting outside at the bar with some old friends, I sipped a cold beer and listened to the conversation. It was hard to believe that only a month ago, I had been sweating in the hot sun of Iraq. I sat, enjoying the warmth of the sun and ideally wondered how this could be the… Read more

  • Behind the Door

    April 24, 2020 by

    I stood in front of the door because I could not bring myself to go in. School doors are locked to protect the children, but it wasn’t the lock that was holding me back. I’d picked up my kids through this door countless times before today. To my left, a box with the intercom button… Read more

  • Finding Our Stride

    April 13, 2020 by

    The first month of deployment felt like running the 100-yd dash — in boots. For 18-hours a day, I went non-stop, fueled by coffee and energy drinks. My unit was busy inventorying gear, getting familiar with our mission, flying orientation flights, and doing last minute training. We held a daily update brief on the status… Read more

  • Veteran Voices: Make it to Chow

    March 25, 2020 by

    455 days deployed in Iraq. Single parenting for months while my spouse was deployed. 8 weeks of Beast Barracks wondering why I signed-up for this while all my friends spent their summers partying. My military experiences were not very difficult nor really all that unique. We all went through a basic training, attended a few… Read more

  • Veteran Voices: Shared Bunkers

    March 21, 2020 by

    The nighttime dash to the concrete bunker was a blur. The alarms were new to me, so I woke confused. I think I put on socks. I figured real shoes would be better than flip flops. Then I had to find the nearest bunker — my path frustratingly blocked by some ill-placed stairs. I was… Read more

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