Military and Veteran Programs
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Wake County Veterans Services Office
The Wake County Veterans Services Office assists eligible veterans, their dependents and/or surviving spouses, children of deceased veterans, members of the Reserves or National Guard and active-duty service members in applying for benefits and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs and North Carolina Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.
NCServes Central Carolina
NCServes Central Carolina offers service members, veterans and their families access to a class-leading continuum of providers that runs the gamut from superior legal, housing and emergency service providers to employment, recreation and fitness, financial capabilities and more – all designed to provide those who serve, have served, and their families, with the most comprehensive service delivery experience available anywhere in the nation.
Military Missions In Action
Dedicated to assisting Veterans with disabilities, members of the Armed Forces, and their families.
Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War by Wallace Terry
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK * The national bestseller that tells the truth about the Vietnam War from the black soldiers' perspective. An oral history unlike any other, Bloods features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off to Vietnam in disproportionate numbers, and of the special test of patriotism they faced. Told in voices no reader will soon forget, Bloods is a must-read for anyone who wants to put the Vietnam experience in historical, cultural, and political perspective. Praise for Bloods "Superb . . . a portrait not just of warfare and warriors but of beleaguered patriotism and pride. The violence recalled in Bloods is chilling. . . . On most of its pages hope prevails. Some of these men have witnessed the very worst that people can inflict on one another. . . . Their experience finally transcends race; their dramatic monologues bear witness to humanity."--Time "[Wallace] Terry's oral history captures the very essence of war, at both its best and worst. . . . [He] has done a great service for all Americans with Bloods. Future historians will find his case studies extremely useful, and they will be hard pressed to ignore the role of blacks, as too often has been the case in past wars."--The Washington Post Book World "Terry set out to write an oral history of American blacks who fought for their country in Vietnam, but he did better than that. He wrote a compelling portrait of Americans in combat, and used his words so that the reader--black or white--knows the soldiers as men and Americans, their race overshadowed by the larger humanity Terry conveys. . . . This is not light reading, but it is literature with the ring of truth that shows the reader worlds through the eyes of others. You can't ask much more from a book than that."--Associated Press "Bloods is a major contribution to the literature of this war. For the first time a book has detailed the inequities blacks faced at home and on the battlefield. Their war stories involve not only Vietnam, but Harlem, Watts, Washington D.C. and small-town America."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution "I wish Bloods were longer, and I hope it makes the start of a comprehensive oral and analytic history of blacks in Vietnam. . . . They see their experiences as Americans, and as blacks who live in, but are sometimes at odds with, America. The results are sometimes stirring, sometimes appalling, but this three-tiered perspective heightens and shadows every tale."--The Village Voice "Terry was in Vietnam from 1967 through 1969. . . . In this book he has backtracked, Studs Terkel-like, and found twenty black veterans of the Vietnam War and let them spill their guts. And they do; oh, how they do. The language is raw, naked, a brick through a window on a still night. At the height of tension a sweet story, a soft story, drops into view. The veterans talk about fighting two wars: Vietnam and racism. They talk about fighting alongside the Ku Klux Klan."--The Boston Globe
Call Number: DS 559.5 .B56 2006
Publication Date: 1985
Every Day Is a Gift by Tammy Duckworth
In EVERY DAY IS A GIFT, Tammy Duckworth takes readers through the amazing -- and amazingly true -- stories from her incomparable life. In November of 2004, an Iraqi RPG blew through the cockpit of Tammy Duckworth's U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The explosion, which destroyed her legs and mangled her right arm, was a turning point in her life. But as Duckworth shows in EVERY DAY IS A GIFT, that moment was just one in a lifetime of extraordinary turns. The biracial daughter of an American father and a Thai-Chinese mother, Duckworth faced discrimination, poverty, and the horrors of war -- all before the age of 16. As a child, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. As a teenager, she sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii. Through these experiences, she developed a fierce resilience that would prove invaluable in the years to come. Duckworth joined the Army, becoming one of a handful of female helicopter pilots at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served eight months in Iraq before the attack that took her legs, and nearly her life. She spent thirteen months recovering at Walter Reed, learning to walk again on prosthetic legs and planning her return to the cockpit. But she found a new mission after meeting her state's senators, Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. After winning two terms as a U.S. Representative, she won election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. And she and her husband Bryan fulfilled another dream when Duckworth gave birth to two daughters, becoming the first sitting senator to give birth. From childhood to motherhood and beyond, EVERY DAY IS A GIFT is the remarkable story of one of America's most dedicated public servants.
Call Number: E 840.8 .D83 A3 2021
Publication Date: 2021
When Janey Comes Marching Home by Laura Browder; Sascha Pflaeging
While women are officially barred from combat in the American armed services, in the current war, where there are no front lines, the ban on combat is virtually meaningless. More than in any previous conflict in our history, American women are engaging with the enemy, suffering injuries, and even sacrificing their lives in the line of duty. When Janey Comes Marching Home juxtaposes forty-eight photographs by Sascha Pflaeging with oral histories collected by Laura Browder to provide a dramatic portrait of women at war. Women from all five branches of the military share their stories here--stories that are by turns moving, comic, thought-provoking, and profound. Seeing their faces in stunning color photographic portraits and reading what they have to say about loss, comradeship, conflict, and hard choices will change the ways we think about women and war. Serving in a combat zone is an all-encompassing experience that is transformative, life-defining, and difficult to leave behind. By coming face-to-face with women veterans, we who are outside that world can begin to get a sense of how the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shaped their lives and how their stories may ripple out and influence the experiences of all American women. The book accompanies a photography exhibit of the same name opening May 1, 2010, at the Women in Military Service to America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, and continuing to travel around the country through 2011.
Call Number: U 52 .W475 2010
Publication Date: 2010
Life after the Military by Janelle Hill; Cheryl Lawhorne-Scott; Don Philpott; Janelle Moore
Hundreds of thousands of military members are making the transition to civilian life each year. This transition is a move into unfamiliar territory and can be an extremely uncomfortable process. However, there are resources in place that can relieve much of the stress of the challenging situations that may arise. In Life After the Military: A Handbook for Transitioning Veterans, authors Janelle Hill, Don Philpott, and Cheryl Lawhorne-Scott collect all the information needed to settle into life after the military in one volume.The book discusses the many issues that transitioning veterans are faced with such as finding employment, going back to school, managing finances, special benefits available to veterans, and a host of other issues the transitioning veteran is likely to face when making the move to civilian life. It also discusses the emotional and psychological challenges that come with leaving the military and settling into life as a civilian. This book is essential for all who are transitioning out of the military, as well as their loved ones.
Call Number: UB 357 .H55 2013
Publication Date: 2013
Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe
"A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship" (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and families--named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly. "In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable" (The Boston Globe). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home...and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again. Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is "a breakthrough work...What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history...Thorpe triumphs" (The New York Times Book Review).
Call Number: UB 418 .W65 T56 2015
Publication Date: 2015
Disabled Veterans in History by David A. Gerber (Editor)
Disabled Veterans in History explores the long-neglected history of those who have sustained lasting injuries or chronic illnesses while serving in uniform. The contributors to this volume cover an impressive range of countries in Europe and North America as well as a wide sweep of chronology from the Ancient World to the present. This revised and enlarged edition, available for the first time in paperback, has been updated to reflect the new realities of war injuries in the 21st century, including PTSD. The book includes an afterword by noted Veterans Administration psychiatrist and MacArthur Award winner Jonathan Shay, a new preface, and an added essay on the changing nature of the American war hero.
Publication Date: 2012
Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle Against White Supremacy in the Postwar South by Christopher S. Parker
How military service led black veterans to join the civil rights struggle Fighting for Democracy shows how the experiences of African American soldiers during World War II and the Korean War influenced many of them to challenge white supremacy in the South when they returned home. Focusing on the motivations of individual black veterans, this groundbreaking book explores the relationship between military service and political activism. Christopher Parker draws on unique sources of evidence, including interviews and survey data, to illustrate how and why black servicemen who fought for their country in wartime returned to America prepared to fight for their own equality. Parker discusses the history of African American military service and how the wartime experiences of black veterans inspired them to contest Jim Crow. Black veterans gained courage and confidence by fighting their nation's enemies on the battlefield and racism in the ranks. Viewing their military service as patriotic sacrifice in the defense of democracy, these veterans returned home with the determination and commitment to pursue equality and social reform in the South. Just as they had risked their lives to protect democratic rights while abroad, they risked their lives to demand those same rights on the domestic front. Providing a sophisticated understanding of how war abroad impacts efforts for social change at home, Fighting for Democracy recovers a vital story about black veterans and demonstrates their distinct contributions to the American political landscape.
Publication Date: 2009
The Hello Girls: America's First Women Soldiers by Elizabeth Cobbs
This is the story of how America's first women soldiers helped win World War I, earned the vote, and fought the U.S. Army. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France. They were masters of the latest technology: the telephone switchboard. General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, demanded female ?wire experts? when he discovered that inexperienced doughboys were unable to keep him connected with troops under fire. Without communications for even an hour, the army would collapse. While suffragettes picketed the White House and President Woodrow Wilson struggled to persuade a segregationist Congress to give women of all races the vote, these competent and courageous young women swore the Army oath. Elizabeth Cobbs reveals the challenges they faced in a war zone where male soldiers welcomed, resented, wooed, mocked, saluted, and ultimately celebrated them. They received a baptism by fire when German troops pounded Paris with heavy artillery. Some followed ?Black Jack? Pershing to battlefields where they served through shelling and bombardment. Grace Banker, their 25-year-old leader, won the Distinguished Service Medal. The army discharged the last Hello Girls in 1920, the same year Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment granting the ballot. When the operators sailed home, the army unexpectedly dismissed them without veterans' benefits. They began a sixty-year battle that a handful of survivors carried to triumph in 1979. With the help of the National Organization for Women, Senator Barry Goldwater, and a crusading Seattle attorney, they triumphed over the U.S. Army.
Publication Date: 2017
The Last and Greatest Battle by John Bateson
Nearly every day an active-duty soldier in the United States military resorts to suicide, and nearly every hour a veteran does the same. In recent years the problem of military suicides has reached epidemic proportions, but it's all too easy for most of us to gloss over the headlines or tune out the details.In The Last and Greatest Battle--the first book devoted exclusively to the problem of military suicides--John Bateson brings this neglected crisis into the spotlight. Bateson, the former executive director of a nationally certified suicide prevention center, surveys the history of suicide in the United States military from the Civil War to the present day and outlines a plan to save lives-and ultimately end the tragedy of military suicides.He uses the stories of individual soldiers to illuminate the unique challenges faced by American troops today. Transitioning from the front lines to the home front is difficult for many service members, and many need help both during and after their deployments. But even though the military is spending millions of dollars on suicide prevention programs, record numbers of soldiers continue to take their lives.To that end, Bateson outlines a plan of action. If the military works to remove stigma, to make treatment more effective and more accessible, and to limit risk factors for suicide in the first place by taking measures like reducing the number and length of deployments and adjusting pre-deployment training to take into account the way that wars are waged today, an end to the problem of military suicide is as possible as it is essential.
Publication Date: 2015
War Flower by Brooke King
Brooke King has been asked over and over what it's like to be a woman in combat, but she knows her answer is not what the public wants to hear. The answers people seek lie in the graphic details of war--the sex, death, violence, and reality of it all as she experienced it. In her riveting memoir War Flower, King breaks her silence and reveals the truth about her experience as a soldier in Iraq. Find out what happens when the sex turns into secret affairs, the violence is turned up to eleven, and how King's feelings for a country she knew nothing about as a nineteen-year-old become more disturbing to her as a thirty-year-old mother writing it all down before her memories fade into oblivion. The story of a girl who went to war and returned home a woman, War Flower gathers the enduring remembrances of a soldier coming to grips with post-traumatic stress disorder. As King recalls her time in Iraq, she reflects on what violence does to a woman and how the psychic wounds of combat are unwittingly passed down from mother to children. War Flower is ultimately a profound meditation on what it means to have been a woman in a war zone and an unsettling exposé on war and its lingering aftershocks. For veterans such as King, the toughest lesson of service is that in the mind, some wars never end--even after you come home. Purchase the audio edition.
Publication Date: 2019