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

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  152 Ratings  ·  22 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
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Random House (first published January 1st 2006)
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Ellie Revert
Apr 06, 2008 Ellie Revert rated it really liked it
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
Peter Madsen
Mar 20, 2012 Peter Madsen rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 08, 2008 Pat rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 01, 2011 Maria rated it really liked it
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
Jan 19, 2011 Jena rated it liked it
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
Kelee Shigart
Mar 24, 2012 Kelee Shigart rated it it was amazing
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
Jarrett Walden
Sep 24, 2014 Jarrett Walden rated it it was amazing
i thought this book was amazing. it was about all there stories they had when the marines where in iraq and afganistan
Vera Nottellingyou
Dec 16, 2015 Vera Nottellingyou rated it really liked it
Very nice work.The stories of the soldiers told by themselves .Their feelings and their losses. a must read
Matthew Wilson
Jun 16, 2009 Matthew Wilson rated it really liked it
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
Mar 15, 2013 Jim Jenkins rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing
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.
Dec 27, 2011 Jennie rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 03, 2011 Elise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 28, 2007 John rated it it was amazing
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.
May 27, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 20, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 04, 2010 Wiley rated it it was amazing
Simply brilliant. I couldn't find the words to explain my experiences in Iraq - but these others have. And I'm thankful to them.
Mar 17, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 03, 2008 Krista rated it it was amazing
Love the fact that this book is written by ordinary people...soldiers and their families.
Jan 08, 2009 Casie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
Mindblowing in its honesty and depth. A must read for every American.
Nov 13, 2012 Allison rated it really liked it
A touching collection of stories
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