IU Northwest Selects ‘Operation Homecoming’ as Novel for Reading Initiative

By: Indiana University Northwest Last Updated: August 14, 2015

one book logo-FINALIndiana University Northwest proudly announces the fourth installment of the popular One Book…One Campus…One Community reading initiative.

For the 2015-16 academic year, the campus and greater community will reflect upon the themes and learning points found in Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families, edited by Andrew Carroll.

The Book
The highly acclaimed book, written as a series of shared stories, letters and experiences, is the story of America’s military...through their eyes.

The first book of its kind, Operation Homecoming is the result of a major initiative launched by the National Endowment for the Arts to bring distinguished writers to military bases and inspire U.S. Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen and their families to record their wartime experiences.

Encouraged by such authors as Tom Clancy, Mark Bowden, Bobbie Ann Mason, Tobias Wolff, Jeff Shaara, and Marilyn Nelson, American military personnel and their loved ones wrote candidly about what they saw, heard, and felt while in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as on the home front. Taken together, these almost 100 never-before-published eyewitness accounts, private journals, short stories, letters, and other personal writings become a dramatic narrative that shows the human side of warfare.

The book’s editor, Andrew Carroll states, "I think for so many veterans — and I've gotten to talk to troops going back to World War II and to Korea and Vietnam — it takes them years, decades even, to go back and look at their old letters and to confront what they've been through because the memories are so painful for some of them. But I think that they realize the cathartic value of getting these emotions out, putting them on paper, sharing them with others. And that's what encouraged so many troops to share these materials."

Major themes of the book include:
The fear of battle
Heading into the unknown
Interactions with foreign communities…both as enemies and as friends
Day-to-day life as servicemen and women
Violence of war
Coming home

Get Involved
Throughout the academic year, the book will be integrated into classroom curricula, giving IU Northwest students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to reflect on the diversity of themes.

The community is asked to join in the reading program by participating in events, which will be open to the public. Upcoming events include multiple book discussions, collection of stories from our community, writing workshops, and a speaker series focused on building a stronger awareness of military and veteran’s issues.

Classroom curricula support are available on the One Book website.

The book is available for purchase at the IU Northwest Book Store, as well as through www.amazon.com.

For event updates and classroom resources, visit: iun.edu/onebook