Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families
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Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  20 reviews
“Here is what you will not find in the news–the personal cost of war written as clear and beautiful as literature worthy of the name is. These stories are the real thing, passionate, imaginative, searing.”
–Richard Bausch, author of Wives & Lovers

The first book of its kind, Operation Homecoming is the result of a major initiative launched by the National Endowment for t...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Random House (first published January 1st 2006)
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Ellie Revert
For those of us with a friend or relative serving in the Armed Services today, this is a must read. For those who do not, it is especially a "must read."

The book does not have a political agenda in any way. It is designed to help the military express their individual opinions on what they see, what they feel and what they care about.

Since there is no draft, there are many families untouched by the tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a way to share a bit in the depth of the US military situati...more
Peter Madsen
So I just read this again...

Obviously I'm biased since I wrote part of this book but I think every American needs to read this. It is an unbiased look at our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the eyes of the service members and their families left behind. Some of it is patriotic and some of it is quite tough on the military. in the end it is an uncensored look at what we go through when we go to war.
I liked this book because it is written in the words of lots of different people involved in the wars. I am actually listening to this one--an audiobook 17(?) CDs long.
The National Endowment for the Arts hosted workshops on military bases around the world. They invited poets, authors and journalists to teach the workshops and give the service men and women feedback on their creative writing and emails home. Afterwards, a committee selected the best and presented it in an anthology.

Why I started it: I thought this was just letters from service members like Carroll's previous books.

Why I finished it: I need to learn more about the wars that our country in fighti...more
Very uplifting AND depressing as hell book.

It was "commissioned" by the National Endowment for the Arts. It invited troops and their families to discuss and write about their wartime experiences (Iraq and Afghanistan) while the events were still happening, rather than years later. Participants were encouraged to write in any form - fiction, poetry, drama, memoir, journals and letters (and e-mails). Most of the workshops were conducted among troops who had just been rotated out of frontline comb...more
Kelee Shigart
With the first page I could not put this book down until the last word was read. I found every story and every poem heart-wrenching. Having a son who served in Iraq, it was important for me to read shared stories from other veterans and their family members. No one who reads this book will come away unscathed from the sheer power and intensity that is relayed through its stories. I know that I will be forever grateful to these brave men and women, and my heart will eternally remain appreciative...more
Matthew Wilson
A mostly good collection of first person accounts of the war, with only a few selections that make you wonder why they picked those out of the thousands they had to chose from. These are stories from those Americans deployed, deployed, and deployed again in wars that are rarely making the front page anymore. If you don't have time to read the whole collection, here are my favorite selections: "Distant Thunder", "Get Some", "Six Weeks In", "Aftermath", "Road Work", "Camp Muckamungus", "My Son", "...more
Jim Jenkins
I am no sucker for touchy-feely, pro-America, "freedom ain't free" garbage. This book has none. It is visceral, personal, and unswervingly real. There's not a thing in this book that didn't deeply move me, and continues to deeply move me. There is no pro-war or or anti-war rhetoric, just real people talking about real experiences within a reality that is hard to believe is real. This book is truly a piece of history. Get it and place it somewhere prominent.
Jim Hering
Dec 19, 2007 Jim Hering rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in the real stories of our soldiers
I have always been a big fan of Studs Terkel's narrative histories. This book tells the stories of US soldiers and their family members in their own words through personal email, narrative writing, poetry and even fiction. This is the real face of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Support the troops by actually reading what they have to say.
Great book overall, very honest and raw. Some of it was funny, but some parts were very depressing as they hit a little too close to home. I especially enjoyed the variety of perspectives and styles of writing. I highly recommend this book, but if you have a loved one who is deployed...skip the last chapter.
Deeply moving. Not to be bossy, but everyone should read this book. Right now. Don't be so worried it's going to be depressing. There are incredibly sad parts, but a lot of the pieces are either humorous or sprinkled with humor. Can't really say enough good things about this book, the writing, the editing.
This is a must read. No matter what your political persuasion, or what your opinions are on the war(s) in Iraq and Afghanistan, this book does a great job of illustrating the human toll the war has had on our military men and women and their families.
The experiences of servicemen in OIF and OEF, told in their own words. Some of it is quite humorous and some of it is heart breaking, but it's enlightening to get a glimpse into what life is like for them.
I really enjoyed this book. Watch out it has some language, but it really gave me some great insight into the war and what soldiers and their families go through.
I couldnt get past 1/4th of it as it hits home a little too closely right now with a deployment in the very near future. I may try reading again later.
Simply brilliant. I couldn't find the words to explain my experiences in Iraq - but these others have. And I'm thankful to them.
The letter I wrote is featured on page 194. It is a letter I wrote to my husband who was in Iraq at the time.
Love the fact that this book is written by ordinary people...soldiers and their families.
Jan 08, 2009 Casie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
Mindblowing in its honesty and depth. A must read for every American.
A touching collection of stories
Zoe marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Wells Hamilton
Wells Hamilton marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
Erin marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2014
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