G. Siobhan Fallon, “The Last Stand” and “Gold Star”

Siobhan Fallon2

Siobhan Fallon is the wife of a career US Army officer.

The story: Two linked tales in which a wounded Army Iraq veteran first sees his marriage fall apart, and then visits the widow of his squad leader, who was killed-in-action in Iraq.

Characters: Kit Murphy, an Army soldier badly wounded in Iraq. Helena, his wife (“The Last Stand” only). Josie Schaeffer, a war widow (“Gold Star” only).

Themes: Post-war struggle, impact of war on families, grieving

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why does Helena leave Kit Murphy? Does Kit Murphy blame her? Do we?
  2. How do Kit Murphy and Jose Schaeffer connect? Why do they connect?
  3. What do the stories tell us about how the Army prepares soldiers and family members to deal with the physical and emotional costs of war?

For further exploration, watch this video of Siobhan Fallon talking about being a military wife:

Find “The Last Stand” and “Gold Star” here:

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