Some readers have asked where I got the idea to do a series of oral history stories on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The idea to focus on the men and women who fought the conflict, and hear the story in their own words, came from a book titled The Good War by Studs Terkel
In the book, the way Terkel asks the veterans questions and helps them tell the story is remarkable. It’s much better than reading a history book written by someone who wasn’t there – this is how it really was, as told by those who were really there. The stories of these “real people” spoken in plain language was remarkable to read.
So…I began to look at books about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are great – those written by the veterans. Most are political - which is sad. But I haven’t seen a collection like “The Good War” was, and I think we owe it to our men and women who served there, and the generations that will follow, to record, collect and publish these stories.
I’ll begin to conduct interviews during the next several months and hope to publish something later this year.