Blue Skirt is set to release the anthology War Stories 2015 on December 14th. The project is in conjunction with the How War Effects Us/War Stories series, a monthly gathering of soldiers and civilians to discuss war literature, how war has personally impacted their lives, and to write about their experiences. The anthology is a direct result of these meetings. The pieces in the book are written by civilians, soldiers, and friends and family of soldiers. Some of the contributors are well-established, published poets and authors, and others have never written before. In the days leading up to the release, we wanted to feature some of those who were deployed and shared their stories with us in a series of mini-interviews.
When The Oregonian asked who wanted to go to Iraq, Mike Francis raised his hand. He ultimately embedded on three occasions with Oregon National Guard troops in Iraq.
What are you getting from participating in this group?
I went to Iraq to try and explain this important event to civilians back home, and I am glad to see the conversation go on here. It feels like a continuation of what I was doing in Iraq.
What is your piece in the anthology about? What does it mean to you to share it?
The piece is about a Fobbit. A fobbit is someone who avoids combat by hanging out around the base. Some are very good at it. In the case of this story, it’s about a fobbit who is also a war correspondent. It questions the stories that come back from “outside the wire.” I wanted to do something light for the anthology, to have fun with it.