Pledge to

Read the stories of those who served during the Iraq War.

This pledge closed over 1 year ago

How this will help

March 19, 2013 - This will be the 10th anniversary of the bombing of Baghdad, that began a war that was declared "mission accomplished" within two months of its start and that ultimately lasted more than eight years.

Many Americans were affected by the Iraq War, whether by serving in Iraq themselves or having a family member or close friend serve. At the same time, many of us were also able to go through the past decade without being personally affected beyond the general financial fiasco of the last few years. On November 24, 2011, The New York Times drew attention to this division in an article entitled "As Fewer Americans Serve, Growing Gap Is Found Between Civilians and Military":

"At any given time in the past decade, less than 1 percent of the American population has been on active military duty, compared with 9 percent of Americans who were in uniform in World War II.... The result is a military far less connected to the rest of society, a condition that some academics have said might not bode well for the future of military-civilian relations (the military is run by civilians). Others have warned that less connection between the military and the rest of society could lead to less-informed decisions about whether to go to war, because conflicts and the people who fight them are not part of most people's everyday lives." -Read more here

Many gave their lives during the Iraq War, or otherwise sacrificed--whether they planned to or not--marriages, time spent with their kids, untroubled sleep, and their long-term health.

There are many ways to pay tribute to the few who have had to give so much. This year, honor their sacrifices by reading their stories.

Take the Iraq War Reading Pledge

I've put together a reading list including first-person accounts of the war on the ground and stories told through the lenses of journalists. Pick a book from the list, or a book of your own choosing that falls into the same category, and read it. The first day to join the pledge is February 1, 2013, and you should finish reading by March 19, 2013.

Social media:

Tumblr: From now until March 19, I'll be updating my Tumblr with a mishmash of articles and videos relating to the war or recommending other books to check out. Follow me to get the daily updates in your dash.

Twitter: Follow me on Twitter @linkedstories for my daily Tumblr (and other) posts. Use hashtag #iraqreads and make sure to mention what book you're reading on Fridays! #fridayreads 

GoodReads: Want to share book choices or discuss book picks? Join our GoodReads group here.

Donate!

Far be it from me to tell you what to think or feel about the Iraq War, but I urge you to recognize that many of our nation's veterans need your help. Consider making a donation to a veterans' organization or volunteering your time. Here are two organizations, but please feel free to choose your own non-profit to donate to:

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Yellow Ribbon Fund


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