“A Common Occurrence” by Victor Orta

Roadside bombs, also known as IEDs (improvised explosive devices), were the biggest threat to the U.S. Military during Operation Iraq Freedom III. What follows is an account of what took place in April of 2005, during a sniper insertion leaving FOB Kalsu (Forward Operating Base Kalsu), when a four-vehicle convoy was hit with an IED. … Read more

“Homecoming” by Christina Lavingia

Dear Paul, Today, you’re coming home. We haven’t seen you since your days of being a corporate CPA, living the destiny more often taken by college graduates. Many emotions are coursing through me at this instant. I’m overwhelmed with excitement to see you; I’m scared of how you’ll look; will you act differently around me? … Read more

“Go-Fast” by Ben Hatcher

After spending a year at Small Boat Station Pensacola, Florida, conducting search and rescue and minor law enforcement, I was sent to Law Enforcement School. The school presented the ins and outs of past cases in law enforcement. The school covered all the past mistakes and success stories about drug trafficking. What struck a chord … Read more

“Two Homecomings” by Erin Anding

This last deployment, my dad had two homecomings; one for his R&R and one for his final homecoming. Both were difficult for very different reasons. For the first homecoming, I had to tell him something that I knew would hurt him. I had to completely miss the second homecoming. This was a new experience for … Read more

“Like You Never Left” by Gregory Ferguson

The longer I stayed in Iraq the more it changed me. Every day it was in my veins, consuming, burning, and leaving something else. I was deep into my deployment. The nobility of the mission had long since withered on the vine. My Bible gathered dust as I surrendered to indifferent fatalism. I thought of … Read more