“Memory of places and comrades” and unheard stories

Benjamin Busch, veteran and writer, penned the introduction to upcoming anthology, Standing Down (coming from the Great Books Foundation this October), which pulls together a wide-ranging assemblage of writing on war, an exciting addition to war literature collections.

Last November, Busch, author of the thoughtful and beautifully crafted memoir Dust to Dust (about war, grief, parents, childhood, living…), read a concise piece on the silences of war, looking back on his grandfather and World War II.  You can hear him over at Talking Service and read the transcript at NPR, along with an essay by veteran David Abrams on the incongruities of war, which Abrams so engagingly brings forth in his satiric novel, Fobbit.

Here’s some of the take-away from Benjamin Busch:

“There are 22 million veterans living in America today, civilians again, mowing their lawns and waiting in lines.

In the six years since I left the Marines, what always strikes me is a veteran’s enduring attachment to their unit, their clear memory of places and comrades, the stunning drama of their missions or unique situational comedy of their labors. Most of these stories are never heard, because no one ever asks for them.

We mention sacrifice on days like this, but sacrifice likely isn’t the thing a veteran will recall. It will be the stories. It’s these tales that make military experience comprehensible to those who never serve in this way. What if today — instead of thanking a veteran for their service and then passing by — you take a moment to ask them for a story? We’ve all got one to tell.”

– Benjamin Busch, on NPR, Veteran’s Day 2012

It’s well worth reading the short piece in its entirety.
REGISTRATION open for Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans – Fall 2013.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s