U.S. Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jess Lewi

The people who fight wars ultimately don’t determine how their wars are remembered. The author Karl Marlantes understands this better than most. Fifty years ago, he was a Marine Corps infantry lieutenant in Vietnam. He came home with a Navy Cross and two Purple Hearts. In 1977, he completed a 1,200-page manuscript for a war novel called Matterhorn. The main character was based on him. More than three decades would pass before Marlantes found someone to publish it.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Long before Ernest Hemingway wrote, drank and fought his way into the ranks of America’s legendary wordsmiths, the beloved author cut his literary teeth on the beat of a Canadian newspaper. Fresh off a stint driving an ambulance for the Red Cross on the Italian front during World War I, the young Hemingway landed at The Toronto Star Weekly in early 1920, where he covered everything from mobsters to the complete uselessness of wedding gifts — including the rise of stolen valor and the lousy market for war medals that accompanied the end of the Great War.

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People sometimes assume that the best war stories are fact based. Logic tells us that truth is more authentic than fiction. But Adrian Bonenberger and Brian Castner challenge that assumption in a new anthology of short story fiction, “The Road Ahead: Stories of the Forever War.

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