03/27/2012 04:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What It Is Like To Go To War: Get Ready To Read

Last week we announced our latest book club pick, Karl Marlantes' spiritual and psychological battle novel, "What It Is Like To Go To War," and since then, we've been completely inundated with amazing commentary from Book Club readers new and seasoned alike.

"I am a veteran of the peacetime Army, a former female officer, who currently teaches middle school on an Army post. I have my own opinions on the costs of war. I expect this book to offer some resolution and clarification of those opinions!" - Phyllis

"I don’t know what it’s like to go to war, but I know what it’s like to stay home from war.
I know what it’s like to watch your husband on the tarmac---heave over, putting his hands on his knees only lifting his head to sob on my shoulder before he takes off.

I know what it’s like answering your 8-year old’s question, “Why is Daddy laughing?” because she couldn’t tell that he was sobbing. She didn’t understand the burden he carried realizing he may never see her again. That he may never know the child in my womb. May never watch his oldest child start junior high.

I know what it’s like to be in a home with no other adult and outnumbered by children. But I don’t know what it’s like to be in a bunker, surrounded by men for 349 days with not a child in sight." - Tracey

We were so moved by your responses that we opened the invitation for several of you to write along with us as we read the book, and we'd love to include more of your thoughts. Email us at if you have a personal story about going to war, or being affected by war, that you'd like to share.

In light of the recent current events involving Robert Bales, we're inviting opinion from veterans, military aficionados, psychologists and families stationed at bases. We're open to the negative, the hopeful, the scientific and all thoughts between. Are you scared of the current situation abroad? Who, in your life, is returning from the military or served?

A reminder: this isn't a space for discussing the rights and wrongs of war. That's an important debate, but not what this conflict-neutral book is about. The focus is this: if we are asking troops to fight on our behalf, we need to understand better what that request means, both spiritually and psychologically, for them - as well as for us. It's going to be a profound and important discussion.

In the meantime, mark down April 1st on your calendars: It's the day we begin reading and we'll launch into discussions every weekend thereafter. If you're in the Seattle metro area, we'll be sitting down with Karl Marlantes at the Elliott Bay Book Company on April 18th -- more info to follow soon. And, of course, you can follow along with our discussions on the Book Club page, on Twitter at the hashtag #hpbookclub, and on our Facebook page.

We look forward to reading with you, starting this weekend.

-- Annemarie, Community Editor