Your Military Service Story and How to Write It

How to write your military service story with DIYBook
You CAN write your military service story–we WILL show you!

First Lieutenant Quincy Claude Ayres (1891-1963) wrote in his diary on March 2, 1918, that “It is remarkable how the birds still sing in the war-swept forest,” conveying his surprise and hope that life might prevail after the carnage of World War I. This is only one example of a military service story, and if you are a veteran, please consider writing yours, too. Here’s why:

Ayres’ diary is one of many preserved in the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. These diaries are enduring testaments to the trials of war and reminders of the rights and freedoms we enjoy thanks to the selfless service of thousands of American men and women. 

Veteran stories are essential components of our collective national heritage

These stories provide an intimate perspective not found in history books and offer an opportunity for family members, descendants, and friends to learn about the veteran in their family in a different light.

It can be emotionally and psychologically draining for veterans to confront parts of their military past. With that in mind, DIYBook’s professional ghostwriters have prepared writing prompts to help. These prompts cover topics specific to the military experience, from basic training to combat to the return to civilian life. DIYBook offers a variety of resources to help veterans get started, including access to our entire library of prompts and ghostwriters who can provide support and advice.

Sample prompt for a military service story

Here’s an example:  

How did you imagine military life would be? How did that perception change (if at all) after you joined? Give an example of an experience that shaped that perspective. 

Does this prompt make you want to write your thoughts down on paper, or does it seem overwhelming? Both are possible and totally normal reactions.

There’s no need to face a blank screen alone

Inspiration abounds in the life stories of other veterans: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is an excellent example. In it, Hillenbrand describes Louis Zamperini’s time as a POW held by the Japanese during World War II. The book serves as a powerful telling of survival and resilience.

In With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, Eugene Sledge recounts his battlefield experiences in the Pacific theatre while also contemplating the human cost of war.

The great American general W.T. Sherman examines his early life and military service in his two-volume Memoirs. He details the Mexican-American war and his service in the Civil War, including his famous march to the sea. Today, General Sherman’s memoir is considered a valuable source of first-hand historical knowledge that scholars routinely consult. Additionally, it offers a unique perspective on Sherman’s personality and character. 

If you are a veteran who has never written about your experiences, please give DIYBook a try. Your story is important, and it deserves to be told. 

Why not secure your story’s permanent place in America’s history? Once you finish your story, consider donating it to the Veteran’s History Project mentioned above. Our ghostwriters can help customize your story to meet the Project’s requirements.

Author Barabara Basbanes Richter, Founder of DIYBook
About the Author

Barbara Basbanes Richter founded DIYBook, an affordable and easy-to-use book writing program. She also founded In Ink Ghostwriting, a full-service ghostwriting firm helping politicians, pundits, scientists, CEOs, professional athletes, and others get their stories into print.

Under her own byline, Barbara’s writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The Vineyard Gazette, Humanities, The Sewanee Review, Fine Books & Collections, Literary Features Syndicate, High Country News, Ravishly.com, Westchester Magazine, and other outlets.

Barbara is a fluent French speaker, and her translation from French to English of Mademoiselle de Malepeire was called a “clever, inspiring gem.”

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