The greeting is now a familiar one. Strangers at airports approach khaki-clad soldiers, hands extended, and say, “Thank you for your service to our nation.’’ Sporting events are interrupted to salute veterans. Public gatherings acknowledge their presence. What’s not to like about these expressions of thanks?
Veterans are increasingly making their views known about their service in Afghanistan and Iraq and about the welcomes home they are receiving. They do so in conversations and interviews, letters and poetry, photographs and graphic arts. The treasure trove of materials is burgeoning, including commentary gathered in collections like the Veterans History Project in the Library of Congress and the three volumes of poetry and prose published by the Warrior Writers project.