“Why Soldiers Miss War is an excellent addition to the growing body of literature on the effects of combat on a nation in which, even though it has spent the twenty-first century at war, most of the population knows little about the conflicts and the soldiers involved.”—Booklist
Ask most combat veterans to name the worst experience of their lives, and they’ll probably tell you it was war. But ask them to choose the best experience of their life, and they’ll usually say it was war, too. For someone who has not been to war, this is nearly impossible to understand. The spectrum of emotions experienced by a combat veteran is far wider than that experienced in civilian life and for that reason it can be hard for a veteran to re-assimilate to civilian life. Ask a combat veteran about this, it’s a common feeling.
What is it about war that soldiers miss? This is a question that every civilian should try to understand. Weaving together a wide range of stories from the flight deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier off Syria to climbing a forbidden Himalayan pass into Tibet, this moving and insightful book explains one of the most everlasting human pursuits – war. But its focus isn’t solely war; it is also about coming home and confronting another kind of struggle, which we all share—the search for happiness.
In this collection, Peterson writes of war from the perspective of both a combatant and a witness taking the reader from combat missions over Afghanistan as an Air Force special operations pilot to the frontlines against ISIS in Iraq, and the trench and tank battles of the war in Ukraine. Interweaving his frontline reports with a narrative about his own transformation from a combat pilot to a war journalist, Peterson explores a timeless paradox – why does coming home from war feel like such a disappointment?