The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans

The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans

The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans

The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans

Synopsis

The War Comes Home is the first book to systematically document the U.S. government's neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Aaron Glantz, who reported extensively from Iraq during the first three years of this war and has been reporting on the plight of veterans ever since, levels a devastating indictment against the Bush administration for its bald neglect of soldiers and its disingenuous reneging on their benefits. Glantz interviewed more than one hundred recent war veterans, and here he intersperses their haunting first-person accounts with investigations into specific concerns, such as the scandal at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This timely book does more than provide us with a personal connection to those whose service has cost them so dearly. It compels us to confront how America treats its veterans and to consider what kind of nation deifies its soldiers and then casts them off as damaged goods.

Excerpt

It’s not easy to come home from war. Even if you’re lucky enough to have survived mentally and physically, you still have to get used to the fact that most Americans can’t relate to where you’ve been, what you think, what you’ve seen, how you feel, and what you’ve done.

I should know. I spent parts of three years as a journalist in U.S.occupied Iraq, in Baghdad, Fallujah, Najaf, and other locales that have become more known for their battles, kidnappings, and car bombs than for their historic architecture, culture, or people. I existed in an atmosphere where I couldn’t walk down the street, go to the grocery store, or eat in a restaurant without seriously considering the security situation. Explosions and gunfire were parts of my daily life. I saw the smelly, dirty remains of dead Iraqis before my eyes.

All the things that most Americans take for granted, like clean water and consistent electricity, were unavailable. No gym memberships. No sporting events. No hanging out at the neighborhood bar. No hiking or fishing or bowling. Just work, and the belief that by being there and reporting the news I was making some kind of difference.

As a journalist, I considered myself safer than most men and women who served in the military. I was in Iraq as an observer, interviewing . . .

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