Afghanistan Posts

A Few of My Favorites: BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

Border child

The first thing I usually do after preparing a manuscript for publication is to read new work.

That’s right.

I start reading all the books I didn’t have time to read prior. Currently, I’m reading MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON. The book got great reviews but I’m undecided on it. But like I said, I’m only halfway through the book so I’ll keep at it.

I’ve also got a pile of books that some of you have recommended that I can’t wait to get around to reading. I’ll let you know when I do. Meanwhile, two friends have launched new books in the past weeks and I am giving away free copies!!!! That’s right – FREE!!! read more

Gold Star Families: Making a President Look More Presidential


There are these documents most every Gold Star family has stashed somewhere. The signatures on those documents change from era to era, but the White House seal, it stays the same. The ones I have are over 50 years old now. They belonged to my mother but she passed them on to me – the document keeper of the family.

There’s the Regret-to-Inform telegram confirming that Staff Sgt. David P. Spears was KIA on July 24, 1966.

There’s the Letter of Sympathy sent from the United States president. read more

About that Onion/Click Hole Meme


Honey, I love a bit of satire as much as the next person. I’ve even been known to employ it a time or two myself. But I realized a few years back that the kind of satire I was used to enjoying – that employed by wisecracking Southerners like Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Willie Morris, Barry Hannah, Rick Bragg, Roy Blount Jr. – was a far cry different than the kind employed nowadays.

My panties were jerked in a knot some years back when I spoke out about a book that millions found funny – Go the F**k to Sleep – but which I found to be decidedly not funny. As I pointed out in an essay I wrote for CNN, when one has been immersed in a story about child abuse, one is hypersensitive to the ways in which children today are being abused. One of which is the ugly, demeaning ways in which so many children are spoken to on a daily basis. So there was no way I was going to find a book that adapts that same abusive language and cloaks it as “satire” funny. I stand by my original assessment of Mansbach’s book: Not funny. Not in the least bit. read more

Forgiveness: The Path to a Better World

Editor’s Note: The following prayer was given to me by a World War II POW I had the honor of interviewing many years ago. He spent two years in the German POW camps. Of the 27,000 Americans taken prisoner by the Japanese, a shocking 40 percent died in captivity, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service. That compares with just one percent of American prisoners who died in German POW camps.

A Prisoner’s Prayer

O God, My Creator and Protector, I know that thou art with me and so I adore thee, body and soul with complete submission to thy will. Thou hast save me from death which has overtaken many of my companions, and has permitted me to be taken as a prisoner of war, I will bear patiently and hopefully for the love of Thee, with all difficulties of my state. Bless me and my companions here, grant us to live in peace comforting and consoling one another with fraternal love and charity. Bless my country and my Comrades-in-Arms, give me peace and protect me from melancholy and despair and above all keep me from offending Thee. My God I thank thee for all thy blessings and I will try to serve Thee as St. Paul has told us “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation and instant in prayer.” Amen.  read more

Honoring those other Veterans of War

Galloway. Moses. Me

Joe Galloway is a journalist, author, friend.

Joe Galloway is also a veteran of wars.  Several of them, including the ones still ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, yes, I know the war in Iraq is reportedly “over.”

Try telling that to ISIS.

The first war zone Galloway served in was never a declared war: Vietnam. Congress, it would seem, has been waffling on wars for as long as the US has been waging them.

This Veterans Day Galloway will be in DC speaking to the crowds gathered at the World War II Memorial. Later he will head over to the Vietnam Memorial Wall to be with the crowds there. read more