Thursday, November 11, 2010

Here's something to do on Veteran's Day

By Joe Anuta

Parades are nice on Veteran’s Day, but commemorate the day in Park Slope-style by attending a reading from five authors who know war best.

The veterans-turned-writers will present their prose and answer questions at the Old Stone House tonight at 8 pm.

“These authors can help us understand war in a way that we may not see in the news, or on TV,” said organizer Louise Crawford. “They’ve come back, and are going to tell us something we don’t know.”

But are Park Slope residents ready to listen? 

The neighborhood didn’t support America’s recent wars, but Crawford hopes that the community can set politics aside and look at the conflicts through the soldiers’ eyes.

“They have a lot to say about a war that’s been on our consciences,” Crawford said. “And I think a good writer may make you understand points of view that you can’t even imagine.”

And the vets will do that by personalizing battles that are usually talked about on a scale of troops and battalions, according to Matt Gallagher (pictured), author of “KABOOM: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War.”

“It’s a personal story about me and 20 other guys trying to do the best we could in a pretty s—ty situation,” he said. 

Joining Gallagher are:

• Juris Jurjevics, the founder of Soho Press and a Vietnam vet.

• Phil Klay, an Afghanistan vet.

• Roy Scranton, an Iraq war vet who writes for the New York Times Opinionator blog.

• Jacob Seige, an Iraq War vet.

“It’s not going to be pretentious,” Crawford said. “But the question-and-answer session should be the best part.”

“Writing War: Fiction and Memoir by Vets of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan” at Old Stone House [336 Third St. between Fourth and Fifth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 768-3195], Nov. 11 at 8 pm. Tickets are $5 (suggested). For info, visit


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