MEA is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization whose primary mission is to work with veterans and their families to publish creative prose, poetry, and artwork. We also work with scholars to publish articles related to veterans’ issues in the humanities and social sciences. Our volunteers are based all over, including college professors, professional authors, veterans’ advocates, and clinicians. As such, most of our services are done through email and in online writing workshops. All editing, consultations, and workshops are free of charge to those accepted for publication. In addition, dozens of volunteers working for the Veterans’ PTSD Project maintain peer-level support forums for thousands of veterans and their families.

Our publications include: The Journal of Military Experience, Blue Streak: A Journal of Military Poetry, The Blue Falcon Review, and Blue Nostalgia: A Journal of Post-Traumatic Growth, the literary journal of The Veterans’ PTSD Project. We see ourselves as providing a valuable service, both to veterans and the general public. By providing veterans and their families with mentors, workshops, and a platform on through which to express themselves, we hope to create a dialogue between veterans and civilians, one that can help in veterans’ efforts at reintegration and society’s efforts at welcoming them home.

How can you help? Read and share our volumes today!

BF CoverThe Blue Falcon Review | ISSN: 2331-5113

In fall 2012, Military Experience and the Arts recruited the acclaimed military fiction author and former US Army paratrooper Daniel Buckman to lead an experimental online writing workshop.The participants, representing eras of service spanning the last half of a century, were asked to submit story drafts and ideas. Based upon the nature of these submissions and the questions that presented themselves in the workshop, Dan and his associate editor, USMC veteran and author Jerad W. Alexander, developed exercises and a process that would lead to a top-notch military fiction publication: The Blue Falcon Review. This first edited collection of twelve short stories features works by established and first time authors, each exploring a different facet of military life through fiction.

View this volume as a PDF by clicking here.

BS Cover

Blue Streak: A Journal of Military Poetry | ISSN: 2331-5040 

The first volume of Blue Streak: A Journal of Military Poetry features 54 poems by 43 poets. These poets range from veterans of the second World War, to veterans of the conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, to military family members attempting to capture the meaning of “service” in all of its forms. An outgrowth of the poetry component of The Journal of Military Experience, this volume was edited by Wanda Fries, a prolific author and poet whose works include In the Absence of AngelsAsh Grove, and Cassandra Among the Greeks. Each poet represented in this volume, regardless of time in service, previous publications, or worldview, was given the opportunity to work one-on-one with Military Experience and the Arts editors. Each poem, in its unique application of verse to military experience, was peer-reviewed and chosen for publication based on merit and originality.

View this volume as a PDF by clicking here.

BN CoverBlue Nostalgia: A Journal of Post-Traumatic Growth | ISSN 2332-0788

Blue Nostalgia: A Journal of Post-Traumatic Growth consists of works produced by veterans interested in exploring not only trauma, but what comes after. This first volume, written by those who joined a Military Experience and the Arts workshop in fall 2013, tells the story of living through trauma in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia alongside the often (and conveniently) overlooked tales of those wounded by Military Sexual Trauma or during service outside of combat zones. More importantly, in the wake of those conflicts, crimes, and omissions, the authors explain what worked and what didn’t on their individual roads to recovery. None of the authors claim to be completely healed. Such narratives would eschew the truth of a fragmentary healing process in favor of a neat, but fictional package that does little to educate those unaware of the need to grow and adapt to the new self created by trauma. Instead, each story in this volume is one of growth, survival, and speaking the unspeakable. The authors and editors hope that it will educate those who have not served about the battles that continue after the last shots are fired and speak to those who have served in a way that tells them they are not alone.

View this volume as a PDF by clicking here.

JME 3 CoverThe Journal of Military Experience | ISSN: 2169-0456

The Journal of Military Experience‘s third volume features 12 works of non-fiction, two edited collections of artwork by 23 artists, and research by four scholars interested in helping readers better understand military communities past and present. Continuing with the JME‘s unique brand of one-on-one consultation and collaborative writing, editor Brian Mockenhaupt’s non-fiction prose section represents eras of service spanning from WW2 to Afghanistan. Though predominantly comprised of works about war and active service, the non-fiction section also features the perspectives of military family members who’ve sacrificed on the homefront as well as those who’ve attempted to help service men and women adjust after coming home. Clayton D. Murwin, the graphic artist and founder of Heroes Fallen Studios, created original works of art to accompany each prose piece, demonstrating through his chosen medium just one way in which non-veterans can use this volume to better understand military experience. Eric Hodges’s scholarship section explores topics ranging from anthropomorphism in “The Rifleman’s Creed,” to psychosocial considerations of veterans coming home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to religiosity in WW2, and one scholar’s attempt to better understand his grandfather through archival research and historical contextualization. Dr. Tara Leigh Tappert’s art section includes work from veteran artists located throughout the world, including those actively engaged in growing veteran arts movements like Combat Paper and the Warrior Art Group. Tappert’s “Call and Response” situates those works thematically and aesthetically while “In War: An Exhibition by Members of Warrior Art Group” brings a regional exhibition to a worldwide audience.

View this volume as a PDF by clicking here.

JME 2 CoverThe Journal of Military Experience | ISSN: 2169-0456

The second volume of The Journal of Military Experience brought together the works of 53 artists, authors, poets, and scholars interested in teaching the world about the nature and consequence of military service, facilitating a dialogue that can bridge the gap between civilians and those who serve. Continuing the work that began with student veterans at Eastern Kentucky University in 2011, JME 2 expanded its outreach to include veterans from throughout the United States and researchers from throughout the world. Editors worked one-on-one with veterans from conflicts spanning the last half of a century to produce a fine collection of prose, poetry, and artwork. The scholarship deals with issues related to veterans in higher education, literary analyses, and the role of arts education among deployed troops. While expanding in range and scope, the JME remains focused upon being the blank page or canvas that veterans can turn to for help when they want to express themselves on their own terms.

View this volume as a PDF by clicking here.

JME 1 CoverThe Journal of Military Experience | ISSN: 2169-0456

In the first volume of The Journal of Military Experience Guy Lubin wrote: “One of my friends was killed by an Iraqi sniper on a Sunday morning while patrolling a village for security.” As literature, Guy’s words overflow with meaning: An Iraqi sniper evading detection, standing as the embodiment of the ambush warfare prevalent in the wars of my generation; the innocence of a young man is forever lost to images horrible and foreign to those who sat in churches all across America on that same Sunday morning. Guy’s patrol reinforced—in the mind of the Marine who later wrote about it—any number of things other than security. Fellow veterans might find the sentence reminiscent of shared service: ambushes, loss of innocence, and the constant need for safety and security in the post-war world; these things are, after all, the topics of everyday life for combat veterans.The Journal of Military Experience, Vol. 1 is a compilation of 29 stories, poems and artwork from 19 Eastern Kentucky University student veterans. 

View this volume as a PDF by clicking here.

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