Published: November 11, 2011

Most news coverage of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan focuses on troop movements, suicide bombings, and the geopolitical developments at work. Only rarely do we hear the stories of individual men and women fighting there, and hardly ever do we hear what it’s like for those Americans when they return home.

Has it always been thus? How have veterans been treated in the aftermath of America’s previous wars? How much depends on the politics of the war – are vets only as popular as the wars they’ve fought in? These are some of the central questions on the table as we explore veterans’ experiences through three centuries of American life.