Veterans’ Blogs Offer a Glimpse into Life on the Front Lines

Military and veteran bloggers on WordPress.com share everything from on-the-ground accounts to poetic reflections to resources for supporting returning soldiers.

Header image: "Infantry Soliders" by Roger Blum.

Last week was the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the start of the Allied landing in Normandy, France, that contributed to the end of World War II.

While some marked it with (deserved) pomp and circumstance, we observed it by reading the latest from some of our favorite veterans’ blogs on WordPress.com:

Carrying the Gun

Then-infantryman Don Gomez served two tours in Iraq with the US Army in the early 2000s. After a stint in graduate school and a dissertation on the experiences of Iraqi soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War, he re-upped and heads to Afghanistan later this summer as a Second Lieutenant.

carrying the gun

His blog, Carrying the Gun, is a mix of  thoughtful essays on everything from modern soldiering to women in combat to the transition from soldier to civilian. Sprinkled throughout are photos and letters from his Iraq deployments — a fascinating portrait of the life on the front lines.

O-Dark-Thirty

O-Dark-Thirty is a literary journal for veterans, current military personnel, and their families. Created by the Veterans Writing Project, it helps those who have served tell their stories — and makes sure those stories are accessible to the rest of us.

o-dark-thirty

The magazine is home to The Report, which publishes unedited fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and The Review, an edited quarterly journal presenting the best literary writing on the veterans’ experience. Browse the latest entries for a poetic take on the forgotten veteran, a fictionalized encounter between German and Russian troops, and a writer’s memoir of a day spent driving his wounded brother to yet another hospital.

O-Dark-Thirty accepts submissions year round — find their guidelines here — and the Veterans Writing Project holds workshops around the US.

Paving the Road Back

For many soldiers, especially those who have served in combat roles, returning to “regular” life brings a new set of challenges. In Paving the Road Back, psychiatrist and Warrior Wellness Unit director Rod “Doc” Deaton gives those who serve our veterans a deeper understanding of the stresses of this transition.

paving the road

Readers seeking information on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will find analyses of the ethics of PTSD diagnoses and the relationship between PTSD and other psychiatric disorders, along with the stories of real veterans (fictionalized, to protect their privacy). “Doc” also provides the transcripts of his podcast, “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” and a variety of additional links and resources.

For more reading, check out:

  • Firefight, blog of Rick Kurelo, who served with Canadian forces in Bosnia and Afghanistan and recently published a book on his experiences.
  • Fever Dreams, the official site of Brian Castner, Iraq veteran and author of the bestselling book The Long Walk.
  • Voices from Warwhich provides writing workshops for veterans interested in telling their stories.
  • Jason Lemieux, a former Marine and current human rights advocate.
  • True Boots, the blog of Army vet and frequent NPR guest Kristen Rouse.
  • From the Green Notebook, where current Army officer Joe Byerly discusses military life and leadership best practices.
  • Grand Blog Tarkin, a collaborative blog at the intersection of contemporary warfare and science fiction covering “the full range of war and warfare across the multiverse.”

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Michelle W.

20 Comments

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  1. acuriousgal

    Wonderful post and information for veterans and their families

    Like

    • born2xdie1xJohn3vs3

      I know being a soldier in war time as close to 180° turn about from serving in peace time like myself.
      I have an idea about what war time soldiers go through only because my only son, was a police officer in one of the most violent suburbs of Southern California. He is no longer with us, but we certainly know he is in heaven.
      We will always pray for our troops and police officers. They all need our prayers because frankly, they are all at war in the world we live in today. Great real life stories that deserve real attention from the Armed Services and United States Government. Our men and women lay it all on the line fort this country, and it is never fair they do not get the same respect in return through whatever it takes to honor them by taking care of their needs.
      They deserve to lead a lifer of some kind of normalcy

      Liked by 1 person

  2. intrepidmuses

    Also I recommed: Pacific Paratrooper Blog:

    http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

    Like

  3. haleeanglero

    As a daughter and a wife of vets, I understand the plight of the American Veteran. My husband has PTSD from his service in Iraq and all he gets is the run around from the VA who doesn’t seem to give a damn about him.

    Like

  4. Kristen L. Rouse

    Thanks for the mention!

    Like

  5. gpcox

    I really think you should have looked closer and found Colonel Mike Grices’ site to help veterans make the transition home. His site is loaded with information for everyone –

    http://orderstonowhere.com

    Please take a peek into it. Thank you.

    Like

  6. Po' Girl Shines

    That’s amazing and something that most of us will never experience. So glad that these vets are sharing and letting others know what they’ve been through and maybe how the rest of us can help.

    Like

  7. Hugh's Views and News

    We all owe so much to these brave men and women who fight for all our freedom. Ever since I was a child, I have always enjoyed history and I was so pleased to see the D-Day 70th anniversary on 6th June being marked all over the world. I was so proud to see so many veterans at the event in Northern France, knowing that it would probably be the last time we see them at D-Day anniversary events.
    I wrote a short story in honour of all the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our freedom on 6th June 1944.

    http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2014/06/06/d-day-6th-june-1944/

    We will never forget them.

    Like

  8. strollfree

    Living part of life on a front line and other part with loved ones leads to drastic diversity and challenges in soldiers lives.
    Great article and references to apprehend the topic. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  9. maureenjenner

    Thanks for the info; it’s well worth archiving.

    Like

  10. NoLongerWounded

    I’m honored to be a veteran blogger on WordPress. Our writing help me and my brothers and sisters at arms process our experiences. Thank you WordPress for not only accepting us, but promoting us.

    Like

  11. artsandmemories

    Thanks for sharing this. The museum has a military display and we have created a flag garden with all the military flags including POW, MIA, all areas of service, etc. We greatly support the active duty troops and veterans as our director is a veteran and the president of the museum board is a veteran. The two of them keep us grounded and understand the military. Will check out the blogs.

    Like

  12. Paul Maiorana

    Reblogged this on VIP Hosting Test Site.

    Like

  13. Healthyliving

    Phew! Seems it ain’t easy being a soldier.

    Like

  14. DIYNuru

    I recently met two amazing veterans who are traveling the U.S. helping other vets in a very unusual and unique way. I was the only reporter who showed up at their event, and they deserve a pat on the back for their dedication to soldiers and their families. Here’s the link to their story. http://wp.me/p4niEb-8Y

    Like

  15. Ed Iannuccilli

    My friend, Mike Montigny, is now writing of his experiences in Viet Nam, and they are graphic and poignant. Hopefully, he will publish them in book form soon. He has given me the privilege of using them on my blog, http://www.edwrites.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. KEvans

    As a veteran, and having other members of my family being veterans, it is great to see this information being shared on the internet so that more and more people become aware of what the non-civilian world is like. Thank you.

    Like

  17. JohnEHarrison

    I am also a Vet and I have made several posts about my time in service, particularly “Cone of Violence” and the Day That Smith Died.

    Like

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