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The first crowdsourced book about Iraq and Afghanistan - Veterans describe their experiences in just six words.
The first crowdsourced book about Iraq and Afghanistan - Veterans describe their experiences in just six words.
137 backers pledged $6,233 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$6,233

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Six Word War - A New Kind of War Memoir

Instead of a book about Iraq or Afghanistan that tells one soldier's perspective, Six Word War is the first 'crowdsourced' war memoir that will tell a story different than any other ever told about war. For the first time in history, one book will contain the collective experience of our military at war in their own words.

Any veteran is invited to share their experience in Iraq or Afghanistan, but with one catch: their story can only be six words. We've been collecting them among our friends at www.sixwordwar.com and now we want to introduce this project to the country and put these stories into a book.

So what kind of stories will you find in Six Word War? You'll find that a lot can be told in just six words. Here are just a few that we've collected so far:

Deployed three years, but for what?

Boredom, Boredom, Sheer Terror, Boredom, Boredom. 

Where did I leave my pants?

Tried my best. We all did.

Hurry up and wait and wait.

Hearts and minds were only targets.

Sometimes veterans have funny stories to tell and sometimes they're tragic. Not every story on its own could justify an entire book, but that's what we think is incredible about this project. Because collectively, the hundreds, hopefully thousands, of stories that we're gathering tell the real story of Iraq and Afghanistan - a story that couldn't possibly be told by one person.

Screenshot from SixWordWar.com
Screenshot from SixWordWar.com
Draft page layout for Six Word War
Draft page layout for Six Word War

Six Words? Why does this sound familiar?

We didn't come up with the idea of six word stories - supposedly the great writer Ernest Hemingway once won a bet that challenged him to write a short story in just six words. His response: "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn."

So perhaps Hemingway would have loved Twitter and the recent desire to shorten and 'package' every thought into its smallest form. Despite your own personal feelings on 140 characters or less, a story can have even more meaning if the reader is left to imagine the rest. Taking a cue from Hemingway, the fine folks at SMITH Magazine (http://www.smithmag.net/) began collecting six word stories and publishing a variety of books about love, life, and everything else. 

Now, for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan - it's time to get your story told - as big or small as you want (as long as it's just six words).

Who's behind Six Word War?

This project is being run by Shaun Wheelwright and Mike Nemeth, both US Army veterans. Mike and Shaun met as West Point classmates at the United States Military Academy. Shaun went on to deploy to Iraq from 2007-2009 with the 1-27 Infantry, 25th ID. Mike was injured prior to a deployment and left the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. 

Shaun Wheelwright in Iraq
Shaun Wheelwright in Iraq

From his home in Arizona, Shaun began collecting six word stories about Iraq and Afghanistan from his friends and saw the power and diversity of his fellow soldier's words. Shaun called his friend Mike in Columbus, Ohio to brainstorm about what he could turn this project into. Mike has been an author for the past three years and has two successful Kickstarter projects under his belt. At West Point, Mike wrote a popular series of weekly satire articles (before blogs) and created videos (before YouTube). Now he has a line of satire children's books at www.babydaddybooks.com 

How can you help?

We just opened up Six Word War to the public, so if you can share the site with any veterans you know, that'd be incredible! We publish ALL submissions because collectively they tell the whole story of Iraq and Afghanistan. And of course, check us out on Facebook and Twitter

Do you have any media connections? We'd love for this story to get some coverage because we think it's a project that needs to reach more veterans than just those aware of Kickstarter, etc... If you do, please contact us at sixwordwar@gmail.com 

Biggest way you can help? Back us!

Every little bit can help, so even if you're just pre-ordering a copy of the book, that's a big help for us. If you're thinking, "I'd totally get a copy of this book, but I'll just wait until it's up on Amazon." please order it now - you'll get a signed copy, something you won't find on Amazon. 

If you're not a veteran, we still would love your help - there are plenty of options if you'd like to get this book for yourself or as a gift. 

There are a ton of other options to support this project, including prints of the original artwork from fellow veteran and photographer Justin Quisenberry, who took this photo during one of his 437 deployments to Afghanistan. It's one of my favorite deployment pictures I've seen - very understated and perfect for your home or office.

Original Cover Art from Afghanistan
Original Cover Art from Afghanistan

We needed each other to survive.

Candy and Soccer Balls. Occasionally Bullets.

Go up and down that road.

Sometimes, I wish I was back.

Let's get these stories and others published in the most important war memoir project for Iraq and Afghanistan. We're ready to make this book a reality and can't wait to see it happen.

- Mike Nemeth & Shaun Wheelwright

Risks and challenges

As with any publication project, we could encounter delays in printing. We're working with a great US company, Mascot Books, to handle our printing and I've used them for 4 other book projects so far. Our hardcover printing costs would be covered if we successfully reach our goal.

If printing delays do occur, we'll communicate with our backers on the revised delivery dates. You'll still receive your book well ahead of the publicly available copies on Amazon and in bookstores.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU - We appreciate any support for this project and would give you a heartfelt thank you. ANYONE is eligible for this reward.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    ONE BOOK - One SIGNED hardcover copy of SIX WORD WAR from the 1st printing run. Shipping included. ANYONE is eligible for this reward.

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    YOUR SIX WORDS IN THE BOOK - Contribute your own six word story from Iraq or Afghanistan and be certain to see it in the book. Also includes ONE signed copy. Please - this reward is intended for VETERANS only.

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    BOOK and ART - receive ONE signed copy of SIX WORD WAR and a framed copy of the cover art signed by the photographer. ANYONE is eligible for this reward.

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    BOOK, ART, YOUR PHOTO - receive ONE signed copy of SIX WORD WAR, a framed signed copy of the cover art, AND your PHOTO submission with your six words in the book. Please - this reward is intended for VETERANS only.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BRONZE SPONSOR - BOOK, ART, SPONSOR PAGE in SIX WORD WAR. Receive ONE signed copy of SIX WORD WAR, a framed signed copy of the cover art, AND a special bronze sponsor mention of your name in the book. ANYONE is eligible for this reward.

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    SILVER SPONSOR - BOOK, ART, SPONSOR PAGE in SIX WORD WAR. Receive ONE signed copy of SIX WORD WAR, a framed signed copy of the cover art, AND a special silver sponsor mention of your name on the title page of the book. ANYONE is eligible for this reward.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    CORPORATE GOLD SPONSOR. Does your organization support veterans and actively recruit them? Our exclusive GOLD sponsor reward provides you with a full page ad across from the title page to let our readers know that you support our nation's veterans. Contact us for more details, including readership projections, etc...

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Funding period

- (24 days)