A unique and much-needed perspective on the transitions veterans go through after returning home from war service.
It is a difficult time to be a veteran of a small war in the United States. After twenty years of combat and counter-insurgency, a generation of Afghan, Iraq, and Global War on Terror veterans struggle to integrate back into civilian society and lead productive lives. As the wars these men and women have participated in continue—while they simultaneously recede to the past—many feel a sense of estrangement from their country, friends, and prior lives. They often long to return to war but hope to never go again and are stuck in a nether world of war without end and peace that does not exist.
In Front toward Enemy: War, Veterans, and the Homefront, Daniel R. Green uses his own experiences with war from having served five military and civilian tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and provides a different perspective on the transition home. Using sociological, philosophical, literary, cultural, historical, and political perspectives he provides a venue for the countless conversations he has had with his fellow veterans about their own experiences as a way to assist others with their transition from war and the military to peace and civilian life. Green provides not just a war veteran’s views but the amplifying perspective of a political scientist—as well as a reserve officer—in order to rescue the issue of the “returning veteran” from the field of psychology and to broaden the understanding of the experience of war for veterans. This book bridges the gap between war veterans and their fellow citizens, sheds light on the quiet conversations that take place among veterans about their experiences, and enriches the collective understanding of how wars affect people.
Daniel R. Green, PhD, is a Commander in the US Navy Reserves and has mobilized four times for service in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also served with the US Department of State as the political advisor to a Provincial Reconstruction Team in southern Afghanistan. He is the author of The Valley's Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heartland of the Taliban and In the Warlords’ Shadow: Special Operations Forces, the Afghans, and their Fight Against the Taliban, and coauthor of Fallujah Redux: The Anbar Awakening and the Struggle with Al-Qaeda. He has also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development (2019-2021) with the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the US Department of Defense. He is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense’s Award for Outstanding Public Service (2021), the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Exceptional Public Service Award (2009), the US Department of State’s Superior Honor Award (2005), and the US Army’s Superior Civilian Honor Award (2005).
Foreword by Commander Michael Hayes, USN (ret.)
CHAPTER ONE: No Victory Parades
CHAPTER TWO: The Mind of the War Veteran
CHAPTER THREE: Camaraderie, Love, & Humor
CHAPTER FOUR: Zombies, Movies, & Videos Games
CHAPTER FIVE: War Memoirs
CHAPTER SIX: The Vietnam War
CHAPTER SEVEN: Militaria
CHAPTER EIGHT: Stolen Valor & Fake Veterans
CHAPTER NINE: Veteran Politicians
About the Author
How do veterans feel when they return from wars without victory parades or decisive victories? Much-awarded Green addresses our perception of the military with well-earned authority. While patriotism was strongest after September 11, 2001, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, Green writes, the U.S. was, unfortunately, not “wise” about the culture and challenges in those countries. Green's insightful book could help us be more prepared the next time.
An insightful and moving analysis that re-imagines the narrative of the returning war veteran. Written by a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Front Toward Enemy pulls the curtain back on the quiet conversations combat veterans have about their experiences and why the transition home can be so challenging. A unique and vital contribution that tells us as much about combat veterans as it does about the societies they fight to protect.
The field of psychology has done much to help war veterans return home but often misses vital cultural and historical contexts within which they serve which also impact how veterans adjust to civilian life. Dan Green’s book Front Toward Enemy is a unique and invaluable contribution that tells the rest of the story. He explores the impact on veterans of deep exposure to radically different cultures in wars of counterinsurgency, the rise of the all-volunteer military and the decoupling of civilian responsibility to fight, and the repercussions of the development of post-industrial society on changing definitions of masculinity among many other vital subjects. Dan’s work will help veterans and those they fought for understand what people who are touched by war face when they return.
Dan Green’s book Front Toward Enemy is a thoughtful, compassionate, and original look at the challenges returning war veterans face after twenty years of combat and counterinsurgency. Moving beyond traditional veteran archetypes he explores how popular culture, literature, history, and politics among other factors shape how war veterans process their journeys home. A singular work that greatly informs the impact of war on Americans it also reveals how society could do better when they return.
A thoughtful, kaleidoscopic portrayal of the trends and movements that puzzle, inform, amuse or infuriate every combat veteran. Written in a lively, insightful fashion by a veteran who fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Front toward Enemy: War, Veterans, and the Homefront by Dr. Daniel Green, also a veteran, offers a thoughtful and historical look at veteran reintegration into civilian society from wars past and present, examining military to civilian transition through multiple societal lenses and pulling from his own familiar experiences as well.