Standing Down, an anthology of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and memoirs that speak to the experiences of those who have served in the military and made the often-difficult transition back into civilian life, is a centerpiece of The Talking Service Project, one of five newly approved pilots that are being used to kickstart NEH's Standing Together  initiative.
Selections range from Homer's Iliad to personal accounts of homecomings after service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Writers include Shakespeare, George Washington, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Tim O'Brien and David Finkel. The New York Council for the Humanities is working with the Great Books Foundation to develop this program. The pilot project will identify twenty organizations for "Talking Service" dscussions. Facilitators will be trained to conduct a series of four to six sessions at each site. The project will be funded in part by a grant from NEH.
In the Standing Down video, contributing authors Benjamin Busch, Ed Hrivnak, and Edward Wood, Jr. talk about how their own military experiences shaped their writing that appears in the anthology. Carole Watson, deputy chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, discusses the interest of NEH in supporting humanities programs for veterans.