Six Word War

I was trolling the web and came across an interesting story about a fellow brother-in-arms.  It seems this former Marine decided to leverage the power of the internet to communicate his still-unresolved feelings about his multiple deployments.

Always intrigued by fellow military members’ stories, I of course read about it.  The article that led me to the site provided this scarce background I’ve provided, albeit inexpertly relayed to you.  First, go visit here:

Six Word War

In essence, this is the collected efforts of Servicemembers everywhere, current and past, who are challenged to express how they feel about their deployments in six words.  No more, no less.  I hear this is a really popular trend right now – the six-word story.

How do I feel about this?  I’m not sure.  Don’t get me wrong – I can’t very well sit here and spew my own form of self-administered therapy for your entertainment on one hand and then turn and utter a sound about someone else’s.

No, rather, I applaud this.  After a quick barrage of clicks, I concluded that the available content may well be just the tip of the iceberg.  There’s apparently an entire book for sale full of this stuff, which both amazes me and still is not surprising.

This isn’t a prop or a shameless promotion.  Nobody asked me to give recommendations to this effort.  Some of the six-word compositions are predictable, and funny.  Some are obscure, especially to those non-military readers.  Others, however, are brief, eloquent, and will tear out your heart and show it to you.

Before you get curious, no.  I have not placed an entry.  I’m too close, and too invested still.  I have some things to do for that before I’d trust myself with a keyboard.  Otherwise, I’d sit all night filling that poor Marine’s inbox with my hate, frustration, and anger in six-word increments.

Check it out.



58 Responses to “Six Word War”

  1. Perfect last paragraph. It is easy to identify with others, even harder to write about how we identify, especially when it digs up stuff that you need to shove away for awhile yet.

  2. That was powerful! Thanks for the link.

  3. This site tears out one’s heart.

  4. NotAPunkRocker Says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

  5. I first heard about the six-word thing when Nora Ephron passed away and I was intrigued by it. I peeked in on it for days, impressed by what an art form it seems to have becomet. I like this version of it. Thanks for pointing it out.

  6. “You can never really go home.”

    This gripped me. It’s not the first time I’ve read or heard it.

  7. Melanie Says:

    I have no doubt that when you’re ready, your six words will not only rip my heart out and show it to me, but tear it open and show me what’s inside.

  8. Hey, man, my inbox is always open to you if you ever need to vent.

  9. Wow, powerful stuff. More so in that format.

  10. Spent years pouring my pain into journalling. Then I discovered haiku! Allowed me to turn my mega watt flood light into a laser, to great relief to my heart and the forests of the world. Thanks for the link, they moved me to follow.

  11. Shows some of our best and brightest are out there and is harm’s way.
    Their words should make everyone freeze and think.
    Now’s a good time to send every legislator you know a link to this site and that one with comments like – “Those are our kids. Better be make sure those decisions you are making show that you value their lives, their families, and their sacrifices.”

    • Think they give a shit?

      • No, very frustrating – your posts count and make people aware.
        We need those who’ve seen combat be here – so many never get off the couch or from behind a desk.
        Hate to say it, but when there was a draft ordinary people paid closer attention to world affairs – It was their kid, the neighbor kid, kids they knew at risk – not so much concern now
        (Not that I want the draft back unless it is totally universal no excuses – every single body does something even if it’s build homes here for those who deserve them – But the reality is if it doesn’t directly affect people, they don’t pay attention)
        You are right and it’s disturbing.

  12. I like the Six Word thing. The first time I heard about it was several years ago, I forget where. They’ve cropped up in a few places, cancer survivors, random six-word life summaries, etc, but to do it for war experiences is really clever. Some of them are funny, but some of them are just heartbreaking and/or give you a teeny sense of the crazy fuckedupness over there.

  13. I think it’s great. Thank you!

  14. I really liked that. Gave me chills and made me laugh.

  15. Some of those were very poignant!

  16. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    The webcam one was so sad..and when I read the one: Sir, your map is upside down…I busted out laughing…I guess six little words can say a helluva a lot! (it was a really good site)

  17. Semper Fi! from the old guy.

  18. What an awesome idea. I use writing to work through my life situations. I love a prompt that helps others explore that avenue to deal with their challenges, however, briefly. Perhaps it will help an individual discover a new therapy to deal with those multiple deployments.

  19. If you don’t know where to start ranting, start with the small things. Because, I swear, the smallest things are the biggest irritation. 😕

  20. I only got through the 2nd page of Six Word War and felt emotionally drained. Powerful stuff. How many thousands feel that way, I wonder? World-wide and historically…how many millions? Hard to fathom.

  21. Betcha there’s not a single one that hasn’t felt that way…

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