04/16/2012 06:19 pm ET

'What It Is Like To Go To War': War In Your Words

This week the HuffPost Book Club is in Seattle with author Karl Marlantes. If you're in the area, join us at 7pm on Wednesday, April 18th at The Elliott Bay Book Company, a favorite local shop, for discussions both on his book 'What It Is Like To Go To War' and the plight of our soldiers.

Over on the discussion post we've had some amazing commentary.

We're stunned at the number of readers who have been personally touched by war or returning soldiers, and we've learned so much about the families who are left behind.

"Reading Marlantes was parallel process for me. How my former work as a disaster chaplain manager for a major humanitarian organization resonates and helps me empathize with what he experienced, the wisdom gained, and shared so eloquently. How disasters wash away houses and other physical structures, but also traumatize the emotional and spiritual health of those impacted. How can you eat or sleep at a shelter, if you don't know if separated family members are safe and alive?"
- Rev. Earl E. Johnson, Disaster Relief Chaplain

"Before this most recent time spent at this middle school, I didn't think much about the cost of war on families, except for the obvious, death. But it doesn't take death to impact a family. Any deployment is tough on the parent and children left behind. Families are exhausted. You can see it in the parents' faces during conferences. You can hear it in the voices when you call home to complain about classroom misbehavior. You see it in missed and forgotten appointments, in poor attendance at the school play, in fewer chaperones for field trips."
- Phyllis Gerben, HuffPost Books Community Member

"Even though so many Americans have jobs with few physical demands and low stress, I don't see bazillions of people out here passionate about their work. I don't see boatloads doing what they love and loving what they do. But I see that all the time among my military clients, my military friends and my military family. Granted, the entire military does not go about their work like the cast of Glee, but they are engaged in what they do. They give me Uniform Envy."
- Jacey Eckhart, editor

And today it was announced that David Wood was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his HuffPost series on wounded veterans. His series Beyond the Battlefield was recognized for highlighting the often-forgotten stories of those who return from war. We can't recommend it enough.

You've made it clear that the problems of war outlast the battlefield and have moved into our homes. How do you think we can better assist soldiers who have returned from war? What would you say to a soldier who is about to leave? What one word would you use to describe war? Leave a comment and let us know.

--Annemarie Dooling
Community Editor, The Huffington Post

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