Celebrate Veterans Day

Saturday, November 11 is Veterans Day (it will be observed Friday, November 10). Festivities will kick off at the county’s Salute to Veterans Parade on November 4. Sugar Creek Library will honor veterans all month long with a Spotlight on Veterans’ Memorials display. University City Regional Library will host an Information Session from Mecklenburg County Veterans Services on Tuesday, November 28. Veterans Services information is also available 24 hours a day through the library’s website. Additionally, our online resource Learning Express offers the downloadable ebook Best Careers for Veterans.

You can honor our veterans by learning about their experiences, both in battle and as they return from war. David Finkel’s The Good Soldiers chronicles a tour of duty of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad during the Iraq War. In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel revisits members of the battalion as they struggle to acclimate to domestic life after their tour. Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors introduces George W. Bush’s portraits and stories of soldiers who have served the U.S. since 9/11. Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield, by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, reveals life for women in a pilot program in the War in Afghanistan. Sasha Maslov’s Veterans: Faces of World War II, the result of a worldwide effort to interview the last survivors of WWII, is available through Hoopla. Freading offers Veterans’ Voices: Coventry’s Unsung Heroes of the Second World War, by Caroline Freeman-Cuerden, which presents the stories, letters, documents and photographs of 23 World War II veterans. Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans’ Movement, by Gerald Nicosia, recounts the 30-year history of Vietnam veterans’ roles in social and political movements for better treatment of vets.

The library’s collection also offers documentaries on soldiers’ experiences. Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 is available on DVD or from Films on Demand. Hoopla offers Hell and Back Again and The Good Soldier. The PBS Video Collection includes American Valor, which tells the story of military heroes who have earned the Medal of Honor.

The veteran experience has been covered extensively in fiction. Phil Klay’s Redeployment, winner of the 2014 National Book Award, explores the struggle with life after combat. Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet, winner of the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, is a collection of poems reflecting on a year-long tour in Iraq. Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy, Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and Booker-prize-winning The Ghost Road, depicts a Scottish army psychiatrist’s efforts to treat shell-shocked soldiers during World War I. Matthew Quick’s latest novel, The Reason You’re Alive, tells the story of a Vietnam veteran who attributes his health crisis to Agent Orange exposure during his combat service.