At 21 million and counting, veterans are one of the country’s largest cultural groups. They are people who have their own experiences, perspectives and even language.
A new book by a Michigan State University School of Journalism class has been written that will attempt to help civilians better understand those who fought to protect and uphold U.S. interests around the world.
“100 Questions and Answers About Veterans” is the latest book to be researched and written by journalism instructor Joe Grimm’s “Bias Busters” class
“Veterans are frequently misunderstood by well-meaning civilians who want to reach out but who might not know just how,” Grimm said. “This guide was created to help close that knowledge gap.”
The questions and answers were reviewed by veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, including Jeff Barnes, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
The book’s introductory essays were written by J.R. Martinez, a seriously wounded veteran who also is an actor, motivational speaker and was a winning contestant on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and Ron Capps, founder of the Veterans Writing Project.
“This guide,” Grimm said, “answers basic, everyday questions that veterans say civilians ask about their experiences, needs, challenges and achievements.”
Among the questions covered in the book:
- Why do some veterans prefer not to have people thank them for their service?
- How common is it for veterans to be homeless?
- What are the meanings of Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
The book is the eighth cultural-competence guide produced by the class and the first one that includes videos. In those, Barnes and other veterans talk about their experiences.
The series began in 2013 in Grimm's Seminar in Journalism class with the goal of using journalism to produce a series of books to replace bias and stereotypes and to encourage conversation among people.
For more information visit the Bias Busters website at http://news.jrn.msu.edu/culturalcompetence/.