Wednesday Links: Read about cool things

Syracuse University has opened up a Veteran Writing competition: “In keeping with Syracuse University’s longstanding commitment to serving the interests of veterans and their families and recognizing the role a university press can play in giving voice to emerging writers, Syracuse University Press, in cooperation with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), has […]

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Wednesday Links: Read this stuff

While we’re really proud of the work the Talk-On has posted so far, we also know that there are many other places doing important work that can support our mission. Every Wednesday, we’ll post the best links we can find that help challenge your perspectives and bridge the cultural gap between Mil/Vets and Civilians, and […]

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Buried Alive

Editor’s Note: The following essay was co-authored by Mike Gnoffo and Zack Neyman, and told from Zack’s perspective as a Marine Lance Corporal and Radio Operator on a shared deployment to Afghanistan in 2013-2014.  —- Helmand province is covered in moon dust. I first encountered it when our transport helicopter dropped us into a remote […]

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The Other Reasons (Intro)

All of these stories from the Global War on Terror invariably lead back to that Tuesday in September. I was a sophomore in high school and I was sitting in math class. A teacher walked in suddenly from the neighboring classroom carrying a disbelieving smirk on his face. Not the inappropriate kind, just the face […]

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“Q & A”

The first question they ask, if they ask any, is almost always “what is it like?” They don’t mean what is it like to leave home, or take long flights over the mispronounced nations of the world, or clean weapons and recount gear for the hundredth time. They’re not concerned with the structure of a […]

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Artist Profile: Ben Cantwell

As long as humans have engaged in conflict, participants have used art and imagery to help communicate their experiences. While words can so often fall short or fail to elicit an emotional reaction, art can transport you instantly and directly to a place in time, generating empathy and understanding when they are otherwise absent. Art […]

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Hair Club For Men

When I think back on my time in Afghanistan, I don’t remember being stressed. I remember fear, occasionally, when shit felt like it was out of control or something loud and sudden caught you by surprise, but not stress, not the way I’ve felt it at desk jobs when orders start to fall behind. Not […]

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American Pastime

It was midway through the deployment, probably sometime in November. The weather was changing quickly, and it was that perfect fall evening where back home, you’d be wearing sweatshirts again and people would be talking about pumpkin flavored shit at Starbucks. We didn’t have anything pumpkin flavored to remind us of home at COP Eredvi, […]

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Going Back

 Brian told me this would happen. We sat beneath the concrete recon bunker outside our hooch at Leatherneck passing the time before our flight back to Kyrgyzstan smoking cigs by the pack and bullshitting, and he told me I’d want to come back. I couldn’t imagine it at the time, so exhausted by Georgians and […]

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The Talk-On

 Despite all the awesome and terrible powers of the US military and our highest achievements in advanced targeting, sometimes the best method for you to help a pilot drop a bomb on someone’s head is simply to tell him where to drop it. There’s a name for that critical conversation in the military:  the “talk-on“. […]

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