Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Astounding Words: 6 Word Vet Memoirs

It’s impressive how powerful words can be given the right context. In this case, it’s veterans of the ongoing conflicts overseas describing their feelings upon return in 6 words or less.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) , a fantastic organization that does some very important work, have teamed up with Smith Magazine to bring us these tersely worded 6 word memoirs that suck the oxygen out of the room.

With such a small word limit, one would think that it would be difficult to express the enormity of the thoughts and experiences running through their heads. Instead it has the opposite effect –it boils down their feelings into tightly packed spring loaded cartridges that tear through your soul. I may be biased since I’ve been working in national security with active duty, reservists, and vets from our armed services for the past two years, so I hope I’m not overstating this.

Here are a few that I found particularly moving:

I can’t forget I can’t forget
Voted my conscience. Bartered my soul.
Best. Words. Ever? “Mom, I’m Home.”
Hollow stares and a hard heart.
Again, am trying to feel alive.

Head over to Smith Magazine to read more. While you’re at it, head over to the IAVA and at the very least get educated on some of the issues facing vets today. Things are getting pretty messy with skyrocketing suicides, PTSD, TBI, and homelessness among veterans today. With thousands more returning with the drawdown in Iraq, you should at least be aware of what’s happening in your community to those who have sacrificed so much for us.

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