"I want you to feel what I felt." That's what Tim O'Brien wrote about the Vietnam War. The veteran wrote a number of stories about his war experiences, but cautioned his readers: "A true war story is never moral. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted... then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie."
What does it take for veterans to recount their time on the battlefield? Do they glorify war in their recounts, or criticize it? Is writing a healing process, or does it drudge up the old pain? Veteran authors talk about the writing process, and what it taught them about war long after they left the battlefield.
H. Lee Barnes
, Prof of English, CSN; author, Car Tag
; Vietnam War veteran
John Ziebell, Chair, English Dept, CSN
, author, Kaboom
; Iraq and Afghanistan wars veteran