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 As darkness approaches, the SAW gunners of the 34th Red Bull Division line up for a class on the next phase of their training: night fire. Red Bull Photo by Pfc. J.p. Lawrence
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Our Writers


The War Horse team works tirelessly to challenge and mentor our writers. We'll never jeopardize quality for quantity. See their work below.

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Our Writers


The War Horse team works tirelessly to challenge and mentor our writers. We'll never jeopardize quality for quantity. See their work below.

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Adele Levine


Adele Levine


Writer. Physical Therapist. Car enthusiast.

Adele Levine worked as a physical therapist at Walter Reed from 2005 until 2014, and is now a physical therapist working in Maryland. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, Narrative.ly, Signature and Psychology Today, and she is the author of “Run, Don’t Walk: The Curious and Courageous Life Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center.” 

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THE MAN WITH HALF A HEAD

The man with half a head had a wife and two sweet little children. The children were playing on the floor of his hospital room while his wife looked out the window. She didn’t say anything when I rearranged his pillow, or even when I left the room.
Read more.


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Brandon Lingle


Brandon Lingle


Airman. Father. Writer.

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Brandon Lingle is completing a book about balancing fatherhood, family, and health crises amidst deployments to war. His essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The New York Times At War, The American Scholar, The Normal School, Guernica, The North American Review, and other publications. He’s served as a public affairs officer in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is an Air Force officer currently stationed in Texas.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Government, the Department of Defense or the Department of the Air Force.


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RELICS OF WAR AND THE STORIES THEY SHARE

The As military kids, they've endured moves every few years and experienced me leaving for long periods. They've visited countless battlefields, monuments, and war museums. We've been at war for their entire lives. 

Read Brandon's Story


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David Chrisinger


David Chrisinger


educator. storyteller. author.

David Chrisinger is a Communication and Veteran Transition Specialist who believes everyone has a story to tell and that it’s imperative each of these stories is told in a way that leads to connection and understanding. To that end, he teaches a veteran reintegration course at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to help his students tell their stories of war and coming home. He also edited a collection of essays, See Me for Who I Am, that brings together 20 young student veterans working to bridge the cultural gap that divides them from the American people they fought to protect. David is also a writing instructor for Team RWB, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.


Trapped In The Amber Of This Moment

Then life went on. I played football and wrote term papers. Basketball season started. Then baseball. As a nation, we were at war, but it didn’t feel like it to me. 

Read David's Story.


THE REDEMPTIVE POWER OF LYING

Coming home in itself can be retraumatizing. Veterans tell their loved ones massaged truths about what they’ve been through and who they’ve become, as they struggle to find out themselves.

Read David's Story


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David Palacio


David Palacio


Marine. Academic. Writer.

David Palacio graduated from Emory University as a Philosophy/Religion major prior to attending Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in 2004. Upon completion of Officer Candidate School and The Basic School, he was assigned to be an artillery officer and completed two tours to Iraq with 1st Marine Division. He then joined 1st ANGLICO and completed two tours to Afghanistan as a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) prior to leaving active duty and attending Columbia University Journalism School. After graduating Columbia in 2013, David worked as a public safety reporter on the crime beat at the San Antonio Express-News. While at the Express-News, he was mobilized for a deployment to Afghanistan with his reserve unit and re-entered active duty shortly after. He currently serves with II Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

 

Farewell, Hello, Farewell, Hello

Soon, new service members will not have been alive that day. It’ll just be another date in American history for them. It will be another attack on Pearl Harbor, a crossing of the 38th Parallel—just another day and another reason for war, for all it matters to them.

Read David's Story.


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Derrick Perkins


Derrick Perkins


Journalist. Brother. Traveler.

  Derrick Perkins is a reporter and editor based in Washington, D.C. He has covered a variety of communities over the years, including the U.S. Marine Corps. His writing has appeared in USA Today, The Alexandria Times, New Hampshire Union Leader and Marine Corps Times. He and his brother were born and raised in Massachusetts.

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A WAR THAT BEGAN AS CHILDREN

Wars were small, quick affairs involving special operators, U.N. peacekeepers and long-range bombers. A decade later, I found myself going back and forth with an antiwar protestor after covering a rally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the student newspaper. I was learning an early lesson in journalism: admit personal views at your own risk.

Read Derrick and Ian's story.


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Gerardo Mena


Gerardo Mena


poet. doc. father.

Gerardo Mena is a decorated Iraqi Freedom veteran. He spent six years with Recon Marines as a Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman. He was awarded a Navy Achievement for Valor. He has been published in The New York Times, Poets & Writer's Magazine, and elsewhere, and has performed his work alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Edwards, John Turturro, and others. His book of war poems, The Shape of Our Faces No Longer Matters, was published in 2014.
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LOSING SENSE OF SELF ONE SUICIDE AT A TIME

Damn the terrorist groups. And damn the suburbanites back home and their parades of glitter, as if glitter could fill the holes in us or mend the gaps in our platoons when we died in the war, or now, back here, when we died at home.

Read Gerardo's Story.


 As darkness approaches, the SAW gunners of the 34th Red Bull Division line up for a class on the next phase of their training: night fire. Red Bull Photo by Pfc. J.p. Lawrence

J.P. Lawrence


J.P. Lawrence


Soldier. Writer. Photographer.

 

J.P. Lawrence is a journalist, Army veteran and Filipino immigrant. He works for the San Antonio Express News and recently worked with the Albany Times Union, The New York Times, and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Bard College. He deployed in 2009 to Basra, Iraq with the 34th Infantry Division and currently serves with the New York Army National Guard. 

 

Everything Is Supposed To BE Quiet After The Massacre

At the end of the school year, I finally asked him about Iraq. He told me about 2003, when whispers of invasion swirled around him, when he was still too young to make sense of it.

Read J.P.'s Story.


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Matthew Hefti


Matthew Hefti


Airman. Father. Author.

 

Matthew J. Hefti is the author of the novel A Hard and Heavy Thing. He spent twelve years as an explosive ordnance disposal technician, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan four times. While enlisted, he earned a BA in English and an MFA in Fiction. He is now in his final year at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He has contributed to the anthologies  (Hudson Whitman), MFA vs. NYCRetire the Colors (Hudson Whitman, forthcoming), and The Road Ahead: Stories of the Forever War (Pegasus, forthcoming). Among others, he has been published in Electric Literature; Vol. 1 BrooklynLiterary Hub; and War, Literature and the Arts


When Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt

I would walk on my knees for a hundred, a thousand, a million miles through the desert repenting if I could. Instead, grace will have to do.

Read Matthew's Story.


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Michael J. Penney


Michael J. Penney


Marine. Entrepreneur. Family Man.

 
 

Michael is a Marine and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He served eight years as an infantryman and weapons instructor before following his passion for entrepreneurship. He currently works as the Program Director for the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of Bunker Labs, a nationwide nonprofit organization built by military veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military veterans as leaders in innovation. He is also the founder of Cigars and Sea Stories, a podcast focused on empowering veterans to share their own experiences during and after military service.

LinkedIn  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Rallypoint

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Nate Eckman


Nate Eckman


WRITER. MARINE VETERAN. STUDENT.

Nathan Eckman was an Marine infantryman (0351) with Third Battalion, Second Marine Regiment. During his service he toured on the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and deployed to Southeast Asia. Now Nate is a student of the Middle East and the Persian language at Columbia University. After college he intends on pursuing a career as a journalist covering international affairs. 

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FATE IN WHAT I CANNOT FEAR

"My eyes welled up. Never have my thoughts of 9/11 been so heavy. ...For the first time, perhaps ever in my adult life, I, without effort, feel 9/11."

Read Nate's Story.


Becoming A Veteran Without War

July 6, 2016

How do some veterans feel about killing? Do they want to kill? Nathan Eckman shares his story on what it means to be a veteran without the experiences of combat. 

Read his story.


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Peter Lucier


Peter Lucier


marine veteran. student. littérateur.

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Peter Lucier served as a Marine infantryman from 2008 until 2013, first with an anti-terrorism security team, than as a scout in First Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in California at Camp Pendleton. Lucier deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and is on Foreign Policy Magazine's Council of Former Enlisted. His previous work has appeared on Best Defense at Foreign Policy Magazine, and others. He is currently studying at Montana State University. 


Going Back To The Slaughterhouse For Souvenirs of the War

Staff Sergeant finished his diatribe sans big finish, or even a coherent thesis. He just runs out of steam, his own rage long since exhausted. It was a tired story told to a tired audience. 

Read Pete's Story.


MY RELIGION OF DEATH AND PRAYING TO KILL

The Marine Corps taught me that despair and violence was renewing. In boot camp I shouted “kill” 100 times a day, and went to two church services back-to-back on Sundays. I prayed to kill. It would mark me, and yes, I believed, it would save me.

Read Peter's Story


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Tim Patterson


Tim Patterson


Navy veteran. traveler. Journalist.

Tim Patterson is a 2002 graduate of the Naval Academy. He served aboard the nuclear-powered submarine USS Philadelphia, survived a collision at sea in the Persian Gulf, and mentored police in Afghanistan. Then he spent two years riding a motorcycle from Alaska to Argentina. In 2015 Tim earned a masters in journalism from Columbia University. He reports for the Naples Daily News. 
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THINKING BRAINLESSLY WITH THEIR SPINAL CORDS

On September 12th, the sun rose again, I went back to class. And we returned to our routines. It was a sort of mental non sequitur.

Read Tim's Story.


MY AFGHAN FRIEND COULD BE MURDERED SOON

He quietly departed his village alone and traveled to Kabul, where he began sleeping on the floor of a friend’s apartment. Without a job, he couldn’t afford to bring his wife and daughter with him, so they remained with Zabi’s father, who swore to protect them.

Read About Zabi.


THE AFGHAN GIRLS I COULDN'T SAVE

The reality, I think, is that I made no difference at all. They were never going to understand American-style policing. As long as the Afghans thought it was OK to treat women like property, like killing a woman was equivalent to killing a goat, then they were never going to understand higher-level concepts like voting, or free speech, or feminism. 

Read Tim's Story.