J. Jacob Siegel, “Smile, There Are IEDs Everywhere”

Jacob Siegel

Jacob Siegel is a US Army veteran who serve as an officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The story: Army Iraq veterans reunite in NYC and over the course of a long night take stock of their memories, their present state, and their hopes for the future.

Characters: An unnamed first-person narrator, an Army veteran. Cole and Jimmy, also Army veterans.

Themes: Post-war struggle, civil-military divide

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the relationship of the three characters? What do they see in each other?
  2. How are each of the characters getting on with their lives after Iraq? Who is thriving and who is struggling? Why?
  3. How do the three veterans interact with civilians who have not served?

For further exploration, watch this video of Jacob Siegel reading his prose-poem “Dreams of Jihad/Cracked Screen.”

Find “Smile, There Are IEDs Everywhere” here:

Fire and Forget



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