My Uncle’s Years of Living Dangerously

Serving as Translator and Tour Guide for a Veteran Battling Schizophrenia

My 69-year-old uncle Henry gazed into the jaws of the Natural History Museum’s biggest celebrity, Thomas the T. rex, who was frozen in a silent roar.

I asked Henry, “How do you define danger?”

Henry answered, “Everything.”

I made a mental note. Later, I added the entry to the unique dictionary Henry and I are creating together. We call it a “thicktionary.” It documents the language of his mental illness. Other entries include “Chicano,” which means Americano, and “alligator,” which means you want to make friends with them but they have their own …

What Happens to a Homeless Veteran?

Jymm Has Two Purple Hearts. He Left L.A.’s Streets to Live on His Own—Then Ended Up in the Hospital.

Jymm is a Vietnam vet with two Purple Hearts who ended up homeless in Santa Monica. When I met him, he’d been on the streets off and on for about …

Don’t Call This Veteran a Hero

On Memorial Day, a Peacetime Soldier Explains Why ‘Hero’ Is a Four-Letter Word

“They think I’m some kind of damned hero,” the young veteran, a former airman, said in a hushed tone while ducking his head and quickly glancing behind him.

His voice and …

An Army Base Isn’t As Safe As You Think

The Recent Shootings Remind Us That Fort Hood Has Similar Problems to the Rest of America

How could this have happened at Fort Hood again? That’s the lingering question after the shooting that took place two weeks ago in which three people were killed and 16 …

Why Veterans Hurt (It’s Not What You Think)

What’s Tough On Those Who Leave the Military Isn’t Remembering What Was Bad. It’s Missing What Was Good.

When I joined the Army as a 17-year-old, I expected to face many challenges and hardships as an individual—whether that meant getting yelled at or shot at or made to …

Soldiers Project Founder Judith Broder

A Yes Woman Who Loves to Hate the Narrow-Minded

Psychiatrist Judith Broder is the founder of The Soldiers Project, a network of volunteer therapists who treat veterans and their families. Before participating in a panel on how war changes …