We are drawn to stories exactly because we want to know what life is like for other people so we can learn more about ourselves and the world. The only catch is…we have to actually read them. We have to actually listen.Helen Benedict, Why Writing and Reading About War Matters, PBS Blog Regarding War.


Only 1% of Americans serve in today’s military. For many, myself included, our connection with the military ended with our parents’ generation and was sealed with the end of the draft. The gap between our lives and those lived by citizens of war zones can seem even larger.

This page is a starting point for veterans, active military, their families, and civilians who want to write, hear or read stories and poetry that illuminate how war impacts us all. Each poem, novel, story, or image has the power to bring us closer.

The links below lead to writing programs, journals, essays, oral histories, interviews, blogs, book reviews, fiction, poetry, nonfiction for all readers, writers and listeners. You’ll find a heavy but not exclusive focus on our most recent wars. They are just the beginning. I hope that the page will evolve with your help. Send along your suggestions for sites to add, links to highlight, interviews, features, or book reviews you found insightful. You can email me here: betsymarro@elizabethmarro.com.


Stories can open our hearts and minds by making us smile, weep, catch our breath. If we let them, they can guide us toward a closer connection. All the links on this page lead to stories. Here are some short, poignant ones to start with.

Veteran Tenley Lozano on the misperceptions and assumptions she and her service dog encounter among civilians and military alike.
While you are there, check out more War Horse essays that, in only a few words, open up worlds.
Kathleen Rogers:Letting our kids go is never smooth or easy but war makes it much much harder.
Guidance with a smile: in five 3-minute videos, Permission to Speak Freely, uses comedy to show how to talk and how NOT to talk to a veteran. The Veterans Coming Home project traveled across the country to shoot these short, poignant videos and conversations with veterans as they try to feel their way home again.
Sometimes photographs convey what words can’t. Here are two collections to visit online:
Hear writers who are veterans read their stories at Incoming: