It all started with Ernest Hemingway's response to a challenge in the 1920s from some of his friends to "Write a short story in six words."
His solution was iconic and poignant: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Inspired by the pithiness of this former war correspondent's economy of words, Mike Nemeth and Shaun Wheelwright decided to issue a similar challenge to men and women who had served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. "
"Describe your experience in Iraq or Afghanistan in just six words."
The response to their challenge has been widespread. Many of the first few hundred of these six word essays have been assembled in a book which is now available for purchase on the website:
Six Word War Book Website
The range of essays is stunning - from hyper-patriotic to totally cynical and disheartened - and everything in between. Here are a few examples:
- It was a blast - quite literally.
- Stupid way to fight a war!!
- Hurry up and wait. Rinse. Repeat.
- Never going to give up.
- Both missed me: family and bullet.
- I almost brought them all home.
- She said she was gonna wait.
- Tried my best. We all did.