02 December 2014

These are a Few of Sherpa's Favorite Things ...

While you hum that "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" song in your head, here are a few Sherpa-esque holiday gift ideas and double-tapped recommendations from earlier in 2014:

1. "Six-Word War: Six-Word Stories from a Generation at War in Iraq and Afghanistan"

"Reviewed here. Now in paperback here."

How's that for six words?


2. "Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow" (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)

It's "Groundhog Day" (1993) meets "Starship Troopers" (1997)!

The ultimate sci-fi deployment pron for former Army lessons-learned guys!

Your results, of course, may vary.


3. "Red, White, and True: Stories from Veterans and Families, World War II to Present"

I keep one of these handy as ammunition against those who would argue that "fiction is the only way to tell the truth of war." Readers, take note: I might embellish, but I don't feel the need to make things up. Collections like this demonstrate the power of sticking to the facts.


4. "A Year at Danger" documentary on DVD

An Iraq War documentary by West Point graduate, Texas National Guard citizen-soldier, and fellow Telling Project alumnus Steve Metze. It tells the story of Metze's 2005 deployment to Iraq—he served at FOB Danger, near Tikrit—just nine days after his wedding.

Of all that I've read, viewed, or experienced regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is the thing that has most accurately and effectively captured the National Guard deployment experience. This is what happens when we send our neighbors off to war.


5. "War Stories: New Military Science Fiction"

I started reading military science fiction in the 1970s and '80s, and rediscovered it when I put John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" in my cargo pocket for Afghanistan in 2011. This anthology of new military science-fiction offers emerging visions of what war might come to look like, from human-led robot squads to a weaponized version of Facebook.


6. 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division snowflake cookie plate

Originally designed in 2013 with a little help from the Sherpa kids, we digitized the Red Bull "snowflake" and put it on coffee mugs and greeting cards at the new Red Bull Rising Zazzle store.

Our favorite item is this cookie plate, which has successfully infiltrated the indigenous holiday decor. Bonuses: Dishwasher-safe! Household-6-approved!


7. Subscription to print version of Veterans Writing Project's "O-Dark-Thirty" literary journal

Only $30 for a four-issue subscription! Quarterly hits of veterans' fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and more! Keep writing! Keep reading!

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