“Welcome to Six Word War. Instead of a book about Iraq or Afghanistan that tells one soldier’s perspective, Six Word War is the first ‘crowdsourced’ war memoir that will tell a story different than any other ever told about war. For the first time in history, one book will contain the collective experience of our military at war in their own words.
Sometimes veterans have funny stories to tell and sometimes they’re tragic. Not every story on its own could justify an entire book, but that’s what we think is incredible about this project. The thousands of stories that we’re gathering tell the real story of Iraq and Afghanistan - a story that couldn’t possibly be told by one person.
This project is being run by Shaun Wheelwright and Mike Nemeth, both US Army veterans. Mike and Shaun met as West Point classmates at the United States Military Academy. Shaun went on to deploy to Iraq from 2007-2009 with the 1-27 Infantry, 25th ID. Mike was injured prior to a deployment and left the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. “
I was so deeply moved by this segment that I immediately went to their website. I was astonished at how much emotion, insight, loss, and even humor could be described in six short words. Here are a few of my favorites…
Family Sacrifice Personal Sacrifice Rinse Repeat
I came home, but never left.
Divorce, despair, only God could repair.
Hearts and minds, I lost both.
It’s okay to not be okay
Responsibilities causing maturing beyond my years
Taliban Bullet, Army Hospital, Found Love
Nicotine. Caffeine. Dead friends. No sleep.
I am tired of the goodbyes.
Baby coming. Please come home alive!
The other battle starts at home.
Powerful stuff, huh. They were inspired by a website called http://sixwordmemoirs.com. A Six-Word Memoir® is the story of your life—some part of it or all of it—told in exactly six words.
This inspired me to think about how I would sum up my own life in six words. It was a struggle, but today this is the six words that would represent me.
Flawed and fearful. Blessed beyond belief.
I have so many flaws. What’s even worse is I actually know how flawed I really am. But holding hands with all my flaws is good intention and lessons learned. Each day I try to do better. Each day I try to take a baby step to a better me. I don’t always succeed, but I can never be accused of not trying.
I am not a risk taker…never have been. I used to feel bad about it but I’ve come to accept that is just part of who I am and there is nothing wrong with that. When it becomes an issue though, is when fears stops me from stepping outside my comfort zone and reaching my goals. Fear of failure, fear of change, fear of someone being mad at me, fear of losing someone, fear of being hurt. Although I have no regrets in my life, I am ashamed of the missed opportunities and experiences never lived because fear has gotten in my way.
I really am blessed. I am blessed beyond belief. I am blessed with my health and the health of all my loved ones. I am blessed with a job that reconfirms how blessed I am on a daily basis. I’m blessed with the ability to love and to be loved. I’m blessed with two children who are perfect for me, who I stare at constantly because I can’t believe they are really mine. I am blessed with a diverse array of friends from all chapters of my life who have guided me, supported me, and loved me, even at my worst.
So, go check out the sixwordwar website. Or check out the segment from CBS Evening News I’ve linked on my page. Or even better yet, go buy the book. My six words might change next week or next year. They would have looked very different five years ago and even more different ten years ago. But for today, this is my six word life.
What’s yours? How would you describe your life in six words?