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About the Book

As of early 2009, more than two million U.S. troops have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet the American public is neither engaged in the issues of these two wars nor familiar with the troops’ experiences, which have ranged from positive and energizing to searing and debilitating. Utilizing documentary materials from the troops themselves, who share their stories in their own words, Larry Minear brings these diverse and compelling stories to a wider audience for the first time.

What has motivated U.S. military personnel to serve in the global war on terror? What challenges have they faced? What have been the impacts of deployment on their families and communities? Is their experience changing their views of their country and the world? What lessons can U.S. military and political leaders and American society learn from their stories? The veterans’ candid responses to these probing questions deserve consideration.

Based on scores of interviews, Through Veterans’ Eyes presents a composite narrative of soldiers’ experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Minear quotes more than 150 veterans by name and includes a dozen of their own photos from the conflict theaters. Thematic chapters cover duty and service, politics, cultural and ethical challenges, relationships to local populations, and reentry into American society. The book concludes with an examination of wider issues for policymakers and the public. Neither pro-war nor anti-war, Minear encourages veterans to express their views on issues critical to both the global war on terror and America’s responsibilities toward them.