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Edited by Susan Swartwout

Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 2 presents essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and photography by military-service personnel, veterans, and their families.

The volume also sponsored a veterans’ writing competition, judged by John McManus (September Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far), Mary Troy (Beauties: A Novel), William Trowbridge (Poet Laureate of Missouri, Ship of Fool), Destinee Oitzinger (Art Director of National Veterans Art Museum), and Tom Cushman (Muhammad Ali and the Greatest Heavyweight Generation). The winners and finalists are spotlighted in the front of the book.

The anthology is the second in an annual series published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council’s Veterans Projects and the Warriors Arts Alliance.

“The stories and poems of service and sacrifice are essential in understanding what has so broadly been termed ‘the American experience.’ For me, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors is required reading and worthy of a thousand tears.”―St. Leger Monty Joynes, veteran, Vietnam

Winners of the Warriors Anthology Writing Competition:

Essay Winner: Jay Harden for “My Metal Mama”
Essay Honorable Mentions: Jason Arment for “Grim” and Gerardo Mena for “How to Build a War Hero”

Poetry Winner: Ryan Smithson for “Babel”
Poetry Honorable Mentions: Danielle Sellers for “Talk” and Amanda Hilles for “Taps”

Fiction Winner: John Mort for “Pitchblende”
Fiction Honorable Mentions: Kathleen Toomey Jabs for “Acts of Contribution” and Rolf Yngve for “Pointed Fair”

Photography Winner: Sheree Nielsen for “Dear Kindred Spirit”
Photography Honorable Mentions: A. Sean Taylor for “National Training Center” and Amanda Cherry for “Ft. Leavenworth Cemeteries 279”

Interview Winner: Jay Harden for “Interview with a Land Girl”
Interview Honorable Mentions: Phyllis A. Robeson for “Interview with a Warrior” and Jan Morrill for “Warrior Marriage”