The Day After Memorial Day

The Day After Memorial Day





Figure 1. detail from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetary

Figure 1. detail from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery. Source here.


I’m not from a particularly military family, unless you count my grandfather, his brother and my grandfather’s brothers. They all joined up voluntarily for WWII.

My dad was conscripted into the Syrian Army but he never finished his service formally because he kinda came to the U.S. to go to college and then met my mother and never went back. Whoops.

The mister’s family is pretty military, though. The mister was in the Navy; his brother is still in the Navy and served in Iraq; their grandfather was a Navy captain and served in the Korean War. The mister’s father was in the Marine Corps.

I have gone on record saying that I could never join the military because a) I hate push-ups b) I hate making my bed. Also, my intense cowardice might also be an issue.

So, the fact that the mister joined the Navy and went to boot camp just a few days after we graduated from high school has always astonished me. How could he just go do that? On purpose? That question led to me writing my second book, actually.

Because it’s nothing I would ever do or want to do or even could do, I’m fascinated by military stories.  I absolutely LOVE military slang. I like a personal memoir or fictional stories best though.  I’m not really one for reading accounts of battles; that whole spatial orientation problem I have makes that hard for me picture (and yet another reason I’d suck at military life.)

A couple titles that I’ve enjoyed  that deal with the military and war:

Things A Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt
War by Sebastian Junger
Infidel by Tim Hetherington (here’s an old post I wrote about that book)
A Rumor of War by Tim Caputo
The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq by John Crawford
Redeployment by Phil Klay
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Generation Kill by Evan Wright
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford
Full Metal Jacket by Gustav Hasford

And here’s Karen from Teen Librarian Toolbox with some military-themed YA titles to check out, too.

I hope you enjoyed your barbecue & day off, everyone. We’re lucky to have this day and it’s good to remember those whose service made it possible.



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