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Release of AS YOU WERE: THE MILITARY REVIEW, Vol. 8

MEA is proud to announce the release of As You Were: The Military Review, Vol. 8. This publication contains the work of 52 veterans and family members, most of whom collaborated with volunteer editors to revise their work.

These stories and poems illustrate the experiences of veterans and family members throughout more than sixty years of military history, including World War II, the Vietnam War, and the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their perspectives range from granddaughters and friends to combat veterans and the parents thereof.

Please take a moment to read through As You Were, Vol. 8, where you can be entertained, educated, and perhaps even moved.

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Blue Nostalgia, Vol. 3 Released

MEA is proud to present a new edition of Blue Nostalgia: A Journal of Post-Traumatic Growth, our third installment of the title. Blue Nostalgia is a unique publication in that it contains stories of veterans’ and family members’ stories of how they face the challenges of post-traumatic stress as well has how they grow in spite it – or even because of it.

Volume 3 contains works from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan veterans, each with a unique voice and perspective. They have in common the bravery to share their deeply personal  stories in order to educate the public and let their fellow veterans know that they are not alone.

Read Blue Nostalgia: A Journal of Post-Traumatic Growth, Vol. 3 by clicking on the titles in this post or by navigating drop down menu under “Publications.”

SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

Blue Streak: A Journal of Military Poetry, Vol. 2 Release

MEA is proud to announce the release of Blue Streak: A Journal of Military Poetry, Vol. 2. This is a special poetry edition that was prompted by the submission of more exemplary poetry than our signature publication, As You Were, could contain.

Blue Streak, Vol. 2 contains nearly thirty poems that illustrate a broad range of experiences both within the military and without. Some are sad. Some are light and humorous. All of them are worthy of attention.

You can reach Blue Streak, Vol. 2 by clicking on the links in this post or by navigating the “Publications” menu above. We hope you enjoy these poems, and, most importantly, we hope you learn from the poets who have lent their voices to this volume.

Link: Blue Streak: A Journal of Military Poetry, Vol. 2

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Keeping It Lively

by Michael Lund

Following a Military Experience and the Arts writing seminar for military, veterans, and family this fall, Blackstone, Virginia resident Thomas Bragg has produced a memorial booklet about his friend, Edward Bartholomew Lama.

Thomas and Eddie served in the same unit in Vietnam in 1968-69. While Tom came home to Southside Virginia, Eddie, a native of Mundelein, Illinois, was killed in action on 31 March 1969. Thomas portrays their friendship though pictures and story.

Working with workshop director, Michael Lund, also a veteran, Thomas was able to contact members of the Lama family in Illinois and Wisconsin. They sent photographs taken in Vietnam by Thomas, which had been sent home by Eddie to his family. Eddie had done the same thing, snapping photos of Thomas that he then mailed to relatives in Virginia.

The Lama family also sent a copy of an article from the 28 April 1969 Newsweek magazine that mentioned Eddie’s death, “A Quiet Week in Vietnam.” Two others were specifically identified from the 204 killed in those seven days.

Gordon Chaplin, the Newsweek journalist who wrote about casualties in 1969, is now a celebrated writer and conservationist. He wrote to MEA that, “It’s amazing and wonderful that you’re following up [on the story] after all these years.” Reading what Bragg has written about Lama’s personality, Chaplin added: “It was a long time ago, but I do remember that Lama’s story was by far the most dramatic of the three that I included in my piece. That was why I led with it. His buddies obviously loved him. His story’s resurrection after almost 50 years is ample testament to that love and to the kind of guy he must have been.”

In this 32-page booklet, a compelling portrait emerges of the two men, who were both a team of machine gunners doing their job and a pair of comedians trying to lighten the mood in their unit, which sustained a high number of casualties. “Keeping it Lively” was their motto, and that’s the title of Thomas’s tribute to Edward.

The Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center generously donated space for the workshop. Copies of Thomas’ booklet can be obtained from Michael Lund at Longwood University’s Department of English and Modern Languages, which co-sponsored the workshop.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of “Keeping It Lively,” please contact Michael Lund at mlund@embarqmail.com