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Six-word memoirs: Veterans share their stories of coming home

Updated | May 27, 2011 : This segment originally aired in November 2010.

According to legend, Ernest Hemingway once bet $10 that he could write a novel in six words. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” he wrote. Inspired by the weight and simplicity of this story, Larry Smith, founder of the online SMITH Magazine, gave the six-word legend a personal twist, inviting readers to submit “Six-Word Memoirs.” Four years later, more than 300,000 people have.

In honor of Veterans day, Smith has teamed up with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to collect six-word memoirs from veterans of these two wars about the experience of coming home. We spoke to some of these veteran/memoirists and wanted to share their stories.

Do you have a six-word memoir you would like to share? If you’re a veteran yourself and have six words to describe your experiences, leave them in the comments below.



  • Lee Livingston

    Having insight to repair my thoughts

  • Anonymous

    American military no more human factor

  • Carol Badoni


  • Anonymous

    Hopefully are still able to maintain some kind of balance of normallcy

  • Anonymous

    I am not getting any justice with it either.

  • Carol

    asset when in nothing when out

  • Thumper 6

    In the Darkness, they come again.

  • lee

    with each thouht a dream begins

  • chip

    I agree , Yes we have become Professionals At waging War , It’s just a shame That we lack the skills To take care uf our vets

  • Chocklitchip

    Vietnam vet But most Still forget

  • Jtowle

    war lovers, never served, should have

  • Drwpapa

    The costs are known by us !

  • Drwpapa

    When Were You There,Last Night !

  • Drwpapa

    We will never Forget !

  • Joseph Darby

    One tour. God was not there.

  • jack

    hated there, hated here, Vietnam vet.

  • Gary

    big, strong, vietnam……now i cry


    Ultimate sacrifices too often go unnoticed.

  • Nextinline

    Iraq then, Afghanistan Now. Korea NEXT!

  • TXVet_11b

    innocence, where did you go?

  • Tazz

    Been there, done that, going back!

  • Tazz

    Been there, done that, going back!

  • 6482

    unfit for active duty, personality disorder

  • Jeff Daniel

    Are we still the good guys?

  • Gdawg

    Fought for freedom, now imprisoned by thoughts

  • jess

    Come back the same person? Never!

  • Squiers

    Went To War, Couldn’t Buy Beer

  • 68nova

    I am an American are you

  • CPT Moore

    Deployment? I still dread SRP more.

  • CPT Moore

    Manas is paradise compared to Kandahar.

  • CPT Moore

    FOBIT is as FOBIT does.

  • CPT Moore

    Deployment. It could have been worse.

  • CPT Moore

    Money was good, family’d been better.

  • Absolutely…

    “War…what is it good for?”

  • Former Sgt. Susan Allen, USAF

    Peacetime – I served. Warriors – sacrificially abased.

  • Former Sgt. Susan Allen, USAF

    Not all forgot. But most never honored your sacrifice. That wrong is, finally now, being atoned for in our national support of our current soldier’s sacrifice. Too little, too late? Better late than never. God Bless you and all your brothers in arms.

  • Anonymous

    Death Destruction Depression Despair and Duty

  • Fena

    You are our best, thank you

  • Anonymous

    God bless all them with peace.