The Dire Messages from History and Literature About Supporting our Veterans | an Introduction | #14

In this episode of The Neutral Ground Podcast, we begin our month-long conversation on how we can best support veterans in need of support. With the end of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, one of the most important things that we can do is make sure that we give ears to veterans so that they can begin to build narratives of their experiences. This is vital because having a strong narrative in place not only helps to build closure to one incredibly important part of their lives, but it also builds clarity of thought and a sense of peace. In this first episode of our four-part series, I'm going to lay the foundation for how history and literature have given us the tools to help. We just need to accept that the experiences are there. I go back to Homer and the Iliad and Odyssey to show how the site of glory needs to move at the end of conflicts from the field of battle to the domestic realm. We need to raise the level of communal engagement to the level of heroism. I also talk about James Joyce's Modernist take on the epic hero, and how listening and being there for others becomes a type of heroism. We also dive into arguably the most well-known author-veterans of World War I: Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway gives us a truthful but bleak vision of how difficult it can be for the soldier and the family to try and navigate great trauma in the home. However, I do think there is some hope there at the end. Finally, we take a look at a beautiful letter from a wife to her husband from the World War I era. 

If you’re a veteran who is struggling with mental health, or you know someone who is struggling, consider passing on the following information: 

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine links: 

  • Apps that can help: 
  • Relaxation techniques: 
  • Military One Source:

    Rand Social and Economic Well Being: 

    Cohen Veterans Network:

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

    Would you like to support the efforts to bring civility back to meaningful discourse? Well, you can, and with little more than a click of a button.

    1. Subscribe/follow the podcast on whichever platform you're currently using to listen to The Neutral Ground Podcast. 
    2. Leave a rating and a comment wherever applicable. This will really help get the message out to more people. Let a friend know about the podcast by emailing them or posting an episode to your social media accounts.  
    3. Visit the main website for The Neutral Ground Podcast at and send me an email or leave an audio message for me with some thoughts or questions about one of our topics. I might end up using it on the podcast for all of us to grapple with together.  
    4. Buy me a cup of coffee...err...I mean Ko-Fi at Donations are always appreci --- Send in a voice message: