Brian Van Reet was born in Houston. Following the September 11 attacks, he left the University of Virginia and enlisted in the U.S. Army as a tank crewman. He served in Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor. His writing has been recognized with awards and fellowships, including from the Michener Center for Writers, and has appeared in the Guardian, The New York Times, the Iowa Review, Fire and Forget, and many other publications. He has twice won the Texas Institute of Letters short story award. His first novel, Spoils, will be published in five languages.

Hero at Home

Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer speaks about the controversy over his actions in Afghanistan, his suicide attempt, political ambitions and the work he’s doing for veterans.


The system for military awards is broken. The Medal of Honor has been awarded only 13 times in more than a decade of conflict while deserving recipients are passed over.

Highest Honor

On Tuesday President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to 24 veterans of past wars. Later this year an Afghanistan veteran will join them in receiving the nation’s highest honor.

War Stories

A surreal and haunting collection of stories about the spectacle of violence and how war worms its way into daily life by Iraqi author, Hassan Blasim.

Canine Hostage

When the Taliban released a video showing a military working dog held hostage the internet paid fast attention. Meanwhile, America’s last POW, Bowe Bergdahl, is still languishing.


A new book about a veteran undergoing exorcisms to purge himself of demons struggles with important questions about the costs of war and the nature of PTSD.


A study on the mortality rate in Iraq during the U.S. occupation counts violent deaths alongside heart attacks attributed to war. Brian Van Reet explains what the numbers mean.