The Weight of My Armor

SKU: 978-1-60235-948-2

Creative Nonfiction and Poetry by the Syracuse Veterans' Writing Group

Edited by Ivy Kleinbart, Peter McShane, and Eileen Schell

Working and Writing for Change (A Parlor Press Imprint)
Edited by Steve Parks and Jess Pauszek

Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-948-2 (paperback, $19.95); 978-1-60235-949-9 (PDF on CD, $14). © 2017 by New City Community Press. 172 pages with illustrations, notes, and bibliography.

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The essays and poems in The Weight of My Armor represent the work of twenty-three members of the Syracuse Veterans' Writing Group, which meets monthly on the Syracuse University campus. Since 2010, the group has served as an intergenerational community where veterans and military family members write about their lives in and beyond the military.

The Weight of My Armor offers creative nonfiction and poetry that spans a range of military experiences, including overseas deployments and combat, military acculturation and training, adventure and camaraderie, shock and loss, and endurance and survival. This collection also addresses aspects of the military experience that receive less public attention such as gender oppression and military sexual trauma, the long-term physical and psychological costs of warfare, the complex challenges of familial and social reintegration, and the experience of growing up in a military family.

In honest and courageous voices, these writers bear witness to events and circumstances that were largely beyond their control. They also reflect on their service, representing it with the accuracy and specificity unique to first person narratives. Taken together, these pieces encourage dialogue about the personal, social, and economic costs of our nation's wars, both past and present.

Praise for The Weight of My Armor

"You can't get more authentic than this volume from the Syracuse Veterans' Group. If you've ever said to a veteran, 'Thank you for your service,' and then wondered to yourself what that service might actually have been like, this is the book for you. These stories are marked by inclusiveness, rigor, and admirable compassion." —Brian Castner, author of The Long Walk and All the Ways We Kill and Die


Introduction, Ivy Kleinbart and Eileen Schell
Gallows Humor, Jennifer Jeffery
Echoes, Don Western
February 7, Robert Marcuson
Getting Off the Bus at Boot Camp, Dawson Brown
Tough Enough, Andrew Miller
Lost, Jordan Robinson
Through the Looking Glass, Ralph Willsey
Honors, Ralph Willsey
My Father, Marissa Mims
Daddy, Did You Kill Anybody in Vietnam?, Peter McShane
Nuclear Bomber Commandos Arrive in a Rice Paddy, David Vercelloni
The Vietnam Marathon, Doug D'Elia
Morning, 1944, Benita Rogers
Betrayal, Steven Kever
Military Relations, Ginger Star Peterman
Kimmy, Bill Cross
The $8 Timex Watch, Dawson Brown
A View, Frank Hobitz
Fort Carson Snowman, Robert Marcuson
Accessorizing, Heather Faulkner
Air Force Brats Conquer Alaska, Lee Savidge
Away From Home, Andrew Miller
Fearless Leader, Tim Hansen
Lessons in Leadership, Terry Mitchell
Awakening the Toad, Bill Cross
Anniversary Day, Len Fallis
Photographs, Elizabeth (Hall) Wilmer
Demons, Ralph Willsey
The Crow, Jennifer Jeffery
The Trip Home, Dan New
War Games, Peter McShane
You Don't Have to Stop Your Thoughts: Meditation and the SVWG, Diane Grimes

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