Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors
Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors showcases writing from military veterans and their families from across the nation, including writing about WWI, WWII, Vietnam, the Gulf conflict, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The anthology was published by the Southeast Missouri State University Press. Susan Swartwout is the publisher at the press and she edited the anthology. She says the anthology began with writing workshops with the Missouri Writers Guild and a group called Warrior Arts Alliance. Some great writing was coming out of these workshops and discussions began with the Missouri Humanities Council who agreed to fund a veterans project.
A call for submissions went out and the response was overwhelming. She says, "These are nitty gritty, here's what happened stories of what it's like to serve in contemporary wars." Many soldiers reflected on how their war was different from others.
The anthology features many local veterans from the Southeast Missouri area as well. One of themes mentioned many times was the breakup of relationships. The person that left for war wasn't always the same person that returned and that put a strain on relationships that many weren't able to overcome.
Veterans were able to write about many of their experiences that are often too difficult to express verbally. Swartwout says that writing is a form of therapy for many.
There are plans for annual volumes to be added to the anthology.
Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors is available for $15.00 at the Southeast Missouri State University Press.