Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform, edited by Jeffrey Hess is a collection of stories from individuals who served in a variety of military service capacities and the life lessons and experiences learned during their service experiences. Hess has collected stories from a variety of sources, including more popular writers such as Tim O'Brien, Kurt Vonnegut, and Tobias Wolff. Yet the strength of the book comes from the stories of lesser-known individual writers whose experiences and values learned from military service provide a framework for common ordinary experiences that unite us and define us as humans. The stories, at times poignant, and other times quite sorrowful and humorous, leave a lasting impression on the reader long after the last page has been turned.
Reviewed by: Elliot Parker (2009)
Among these stories by writers, including Kurt Vonnegut, Tim O'Brien, Tobias Wolff, Chris Offutt, Benjamin Percy and many others, you'll find shipbuilders and sailors, pilots, wild dogs, battles-both physical and emotional, misunderstandings, fistfights, and the wounds of unrequited love. There are parades and hurricanes, people getting high and some merely getting by, as well as the human sacrifices made, the losses endured, the hardships faced because of or in spite of some connection to the military. If you've served, you might recognize a couple of these characters, or their situations. Maybe you will relate to some because you're just like them or because they served in the same place you did. If you've never served, but have had contact with someone who has, you may find similarities between a character here and a person you thought you knew. Each [story] is different in the way it approaches the lives of these individuals at certain points of the modern era, but each will entertain you, and challenge, and stay with you. - from the Introduction, by Jeffery Hess, editor