... I can tell you that," Troy Steward told Washington Post reporter David Montgomery today. After a tour of duty in Iraq this New York Army National Guardsman had first-hand experience. But when it came to autographing books, he watched in awe as cartoonist Gary Trudeau swiftly signed one book after another.
Trudeau and Slate spearheaded a milblog/forum that turned into a book project. They invited U. S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq (and their families) to contribute stories of everyday life during war. Not surprisingly, much of the humor is dark.
Read, for example, “Reality,” (10/15/07) RN Clara Hart’s feelings about the soldiers she sees again and again, some years after they have returned: “Many people write me and ask, 'What can we do?' They want to be proactive instead of sitting passively along the sidelines criticizing. Instead of saying, 'We need to get the hell out of there,' try donating your unused frequent flyer miles to the Fisher House Foundation or Soldiers Angels, so they can in turn use them to bring families and friends to a soldier’s bedside."
I'll never forget opening my newspaper, turning to Trudeau's strip and seeing his character, B.D. without the usual helmet that he'd worn on his head for almost 34 years earlier. In the same strip, I saw that he'd also lost his leg while serving in Iraq.