Many men and women contributed their stories and their talents to create the unique new multimedia book, 100 Questions and Answers about Veterans. The effort began with students from the prestigious Michigan State University School of Journalism contacting veterans nationwide. They reached men and women who most of us don’t even know were veterans—as well as veterans who have become celebrities. For example, J.R. Martinez, the wounded veteran who won Dancing with the Stars in 2011 wrote the book’s opening pages, appealing to all Americans to learn more about our more than 20 million veterans.
Then, in recent days, editors at the nation’s leading newspapers, magazines and TV networks discovered the book. The most popular news story was reported by Associated Press writer Jeff Karoub, who tied the news of the book’s release to this holiday weekend. In a story carried coast to coast by the likes of The Washington Post, Jeff reported:
Wishing living U.S. military veterans a “Happy Memorial Day” might be well-intentioned but misses the mark on an occasion meant for remembering those who lost their lives. That and other timely reminders can be found in a new book researched and written by a Michigan State University journalism class with assistance from former servicemen and women. “100 Questions and Answers About Veterans” is aimed at clearing up myths and misunderstandings held by some civilians.
“A day of mourning doesn’t square with ‘happy,’” instructor Joe Grimm said. “They’re thinking, ‘I’m still here. My day is coming in November (on) Veterans Day.’” The book, available in print and digital versions, is the eighth that Grimm’s classes have published. Others have covered Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, East Asians and Muslim Americans.
Many professionals pitched in to raise awareness about this unusual new multi-media book—and the good that this book can do in educating non-veterans so we all can help to build stronger relationships with veterans. Michigan’s flagship public television station, Detroit Public Television, got involved by providing veteran videos for the book—men and women talking about their lives today. The videos remind us that veterans are our neighbors, our co-workers, contributors to our communities—and that their service shaped their lives in positive ways. In print editions of the book, these videos can be played by clicking a device like a smart phone on small QR codes printed on the pages. In digital editions of the book for iPad and some Kindles, the videos play by themselves as readers flip the book’s pages.
Today, we are sharing three of those videos to give you an idea of the stories you’ll find between these covers. For Detroit Public Television, these veterans were asked to talk about their lives today, the work that they do in their communities—and how their earlier military service played a role in the men and women they have become.