Letters Exhibit

A Message from Andrew Carroll, editor of GRACE UNDER FIRE

Writing and editing GRACE UNDER FIRE: Letters of Faith in Times of War was an extremely personal experience for several reasons. First, whether they are troops serving today, veterans from past conflicts, the loved ones of military personnel, or the distant relatives of soldiers from wars long gone by, all of the people who contributed letters (and e-mails) for this book are among the most gracious, generous, and kindest individuals I have ever known. I cannot thank them enough for sharing these very intimate correspondences, and I hope you find them as extraordinary as I do.

Reading through the letters and e-mails, themselves, are also what has made working on this book so wonderful. All too often, the voices of the so-called “average” service members (or their loved ones on the home front) get overlooked in the history books. But as the correspondences in GRACE UNDER FIRE attest, the words of these men and women are some of the most riveting and powerful writings ever recorded. And they are not just about war, but resilience, loyalty, courage, morality, love, and, ultimately, the enduring value of faith.

Featured below are just ten of these remarkable letters and e-mails, and I am including before each one of them personal, “behind the scenes” commentary as to why they were selected. Needless to say, I believe all of the correspondences in GRACE UNDER FIRE are special, and the ones below are simply the first that came to mind as I tried to think of specific themes—such as sacrifice, devotion, selflessness, and hope—that are represented throughout the book. It was also very difficult to edit them down, as they are absolutely perfect the way there were originally written, but due to space considerations the correspondences had to be cut a little. (The fuller versions, along with more information about the letter-writers and what happened to them, are in GRACE UNDER FIRE.)

Thank you for visiting this on-line exhibit, and I hope it inspires you to learn more about the heroic men and women who serve—and who have served—this great nation in times of war.