Memorial Day: Stories By and About our Soldiers

We all have opinions about the wars America is fighting right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. What sometimes gets lost in the debate-especially...

We all have opinions about the wars America is fighting right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. What sometimes gets lost in the debate-especially on a day off from work filled with beer and barbecues-is that there are soldiers fighting on foreign soil right now, and those soldiers are real people who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. We've collected some links below of places where you can hear firsthand what they're going through, either in their own words, or in articles and videos about them."Service itself is our honor": A soldier writes a powerful letter about why she enlisted in the military: "We are not your sons and daughters, whom you must protect and defend. We are your sword and your shield. We are men and women who volunteer to place our lives on the line so you do not have to. We do not decide when or where we will be sent. We go." The IAVA Winter Soldier Project: Recalling the Winter Solider movement of the Vietnam Era, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have collected testimony from soldiers about the ill-effects the wars have caused our troops and our country.Gunner Palace: An excellent documentary on soldiers in Iraq living in one of Saddam's old palaces. Watch the trailer here. "A Company of Soldiers" and "The Soldier's Heart": The first of these two Frontline documentaries shows 30 days in the life of Dog Company, fighting in Iraq; the second looks at what happens to soldiers when they return home. "A Solider's Story": A Special Forces officer tries to come to grips with doubts over whether or not his efforts have helped in Iraq."In Their Boots": A multi-part video series discusses what it means to be a soldier in today's military."Taking Chance": A first-person account of an officer escorting a fallen solider to his funeral. It first appeared on the blog Blackfive and is now a movie for HBO. Watch the trailer here."The Things That Carried Him": An incredibly moving step-by-step account of the process that a fallen soldier goes through to arrive home for his funeral.And don't forget our article and accompanying videos on soldiers just back from Iraq.Do you have other places (videos, articles, blogs) where people can get a glimpse at what it's like to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan? Add them in the comments.