Memorial Day was a few weeks ago, and while this article might be a little late, I thought I’d write about a few great military books that veterans might enjoy. There are countless military books available to read out there, from exciting fictional tales to non-fiction, first-person accounts to actual military operations from throughout history. If you’re a veteran looking for something to read, or maybe someone who wants to better understand the veterans in your life, try reading one of these great books.
A Hard and Heavy Thing – Matthew Hefti
After nearly a decade of war, Levi, an army sergeant, is contemplating suicide. He has been through a lot, and he has come to the point where he can no longer justify his actions. In one of his most tragic decisions, he made a fatal mistake that led to the deaths of three soldiers and injured two others. He risked his life to save his best friend Nick, who was disfigured and badly burned. Despite being awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions in Iraq, the guilt he carried after that day still lingered. When Levi returns home and begins to spiral out of control, Nick must step in and save him.
Redeployment – Phil Klay
In Phil Klay’s Redeployment, readers are invited to take a look at the war in Afghanistan and Iraq through the eyes of the soldiers who went through these conflicts. The characters’ struggles with guilt, fear, and brutality are all part of a larger story that asks us to understand what happened to them. In “Redeployment,” a soldier has to learn what it’s like to return to domestic life after having to kill dogs for eating human corpses, all while being surrounded by people who don’t understand what he’s been through at all.
Why Marines Fight – James Brady
For over two centuries, the US Marines have been regarded as some of the most admired warriors in the world. In James Brady’s The Marines, he tackles the subject head-on, and he interviews some of the most prominent and experienced combat marines from various wars, including the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Through his interviews, Brady was able to gain a deeper understanding of the individuals who served their country. Brady’s interviews allowed him to create an authentic portrayal of the American story, which is told through the eyes of the soldiers. Americans who can experience this part of a soldier’s life will find it hard to forget.
The Ha-Ha – Dave King
After suffering from PTSD from his experience in Vietnam, Howard Kapostash is now middle-aged and lives a lonely life. He avoids contact with people due to his inability to speak, read, or write, but when his former high school friend enters a drug rehabilitation center, he begins to open up. His former classmate’s son is the only friend he has, and he begins to feel like a father figure.