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Download Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families Audiobook

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In the summer of 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts organized a series of writing workshops led by prominent authors to encourage US troops and their families to record their experiences and reflections on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The result is this extraordinary volume of first-hand letters, poems, journals, memoirs, and e-mails from the men and women directly involved in battle and their families back home.

This uniquely personal addition to the long tradition of war literature covers the entire arc of a soldier’s journey, from those first experiences of combat, encounters with Iraqis and Afghans, and the humor and boredom of the daily grind, to the physical and emotional toll of battle, the struggle of loved ones back home to carry on, and finally the return and integration back into American life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This beautifully edited compilation of writings from modern warriors and their loved ones contains a wonderful range of voices and experience…This collection provides a truly multi-faceted and agenda-free look at the ongoing conflict from the Americans who lived it, and deserves a large audience.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Several readers share the narration, which gives each entry a unique tone…The stories are visceral, at times graphic. They are uniformly moving. Given that the war continues, some of the entries are almost poignant.”

    AudioFile

  • “An incredibly wide range of opinions and emotions about US policy in the Middle East, the war on terrorism, and the duties and responsibilities of citizens and the military. In 100 pieces of poetry, essays, letters, e-mails, plays, and journal entries…[are the] intimate perspectives from the people on the frontlines.”

    Booklist

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Audie Award FinalistAudie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Casie | 5/5/2013

    " Mindblowing in its honesty and depth. A must read for every American. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista | 1/12/2012

    " Love the fact that this book is written by ordinary people...soldiers and their families. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wiley | 9/5/2010

    " Simply brilliant. I couldn't find the words to explain my experiences in Iraq - but these others have. And I'm thankful to them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 12/31/2009

    " The letter I wrote is featured on page 194. It is a letter I wrote to my husband who was in Iraq at the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/8/2008

    " I really enjoyed this book. Watch out it has some language, but it really gave me some great insight into the war and what soldiers and their families go through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 1/7/2008

    " A touching collection of stories "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 12/7/2007

    " The experiences of servicemen in OIF and OEF, told in their own words. Some of it is quite humorous and some of it is heart breaking, but it's enlightening to get a glimpse into what life is like for them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 8/12/2007

    " This is a must read. No matter what your political persuasion, or what your opinions are on the war(s) in Iraq and Afghanistan, this book does a great job of illustrating the human toll the war has had on our military men and women and their families. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 5/2/2007

    " I liked this book because it is written in the words of lots of different people involved in the wars. I am actually listening to this one--an audiobook 17(?) CDs long. "

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About the Author

Andrew Carroll’s books, War Letters and Letters of a Nation, were New York Times bestsellers. In 1998, he founded the Legacy Project, a national, all-volunteer effort to honor and remember our nation’s veterans by seeking out and saving their letters. He is editing this book on a pro bono basis. Carroll lives in Washington, DC.

About the Narrators
Orson Scott Card is the author of numerous bestselling novels and the first writer to receive both the Hugo and Nebula awards two years in a row; first for Ender’s Game and then for the sequel, Speaker for the Dead. He lives with his wife and children in North Carolina.

Gabrielle de Cuir, award-winning narration, has narrated over two hundred titles and specializes in fantasy, humor, and titles requiring extensive foreign language and accent skills. She was a cowinner of the Audie Award for best narration in 2011 and a three-time finalist for the Audie and has garnered six AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her “velvet touch” as an actor’s director has earned her a special place in the audiobook world as the foremost producer for bestselling authors and celebrities.

Harlan Ellison has written or edited more than 120 books and more than 1,700 stories, essays, and articles, as well as dozens of screenplays and teleplays. He has won numerous awards, including the Edgar Award, Hugo Award, an Audie Award for Best Solo Narration, and his fifth Nebula Award, breaking genre records. Ellison was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2006. He lives in California.

Robert Forster is an award-winning film and television actor best known for his Oscar-nominated supporting role as Max Cherry in Jackie Brown.

Kirby Heyborne is a musician, actor, and professional narrator. Noted for his work in teen and juvenile audio, he has garnered numerous Earphones Awards. His audiobook credits include Jesse Kellerman’s The Genius, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, and George R. R. Martin’s Selections from Dreamsongs.

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End.

Arte Johnson is an award-winning narrator and an American comic actor who won an Emmy Award for his role in the television series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. His audiobook narations have won two AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he placed as a finalist for the Audie Award for best narration in 2003 and 2007.

Stephen Lang is a Tony Award–nominated actor who has made a name for himself on stages both at home and abroad. Perhaps most well-known for his role in James Cameron’s Avatar, his other film credits include The Men Who Stare at Goats, Public Enemies, Tombstone, and many more.

Rex Linn, a winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2014, is an American film and television actor best known for his role as Frank Tripp in the television series CSI: Miami. Besides numerous other television roles, he has had roles in Django Unchained, Trial by Fire, and other major films. He was born and raised in the Texas panhandle and earned a BA in radio, television, and film from Oklahoma State University.

Kathe Mazur has narrated many audiobooks, winning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2014, being named a finalist for the Audie Award in 2013 and 2015, and winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she can be seen as DDA Hobbs on The Closer and in the upcoming Major Crimes. She has worked extensively in film, theater, and television, including appearances on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, Brothers and Sisters, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, ER, Monk, and many others.

John Rubinstein is an actor, composer, and director who won a Tony Award for his starring role in Broadway’s Children of a Lesser God. He has narrated dozens of audiobooks, earning several AudioFile Earphones Awards and being named a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2013.

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918–2014) was born in New York City and trained at the Yale School of Drama. An actor on stage, film, and television, he was also a narrator, voice-over artist, director, and award-winning producer. He is best remembered for his role as investigators on the TV shows 77 Sunset Strip and The FBI.

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.

Joe Barrett has appeared both on and off Broadway as well as in hundreds of radio and television commercials. He has earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. He has narrated books by such authors as Trevanian, Brian Freeman, Don Winslow, and James W. Huston.

David Birney is an American actor and director whose career performances include both contemporary and classical roles in theater, film and television. He has recorded numerous audiobook bestsellers, including works by Dean Koontz, Paul Theroux, Annie Dillard, Thomas Kenneally, and Orson Scott Card. His reading of Julie Salomon’s The Christmas Tree was honored with the prestigious Audie Award and has also been the recipient of several AudioFile Earphone Awards.

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.

Emily Janice Card (a.k.a. Emily Rankin) is an actor, writer, and singer from North Carolina, now residing in Los Angeles. In addition to being a narrator, she has directed numerous audiobooks, including the 2007 Audie® and Earphones Award winner Hubris, Legacy of Ashes by Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Weiner, and Them by Nathan McCall.