War Comes Home

What does it mean to come back home from war? How can we build bridges of understanding between those who have served and those who have not?

  • About
  • Partners


Launched in 2014, the War Comes Home initiative was launched to help veterans strengthen connections to their communities, and vice versa, and increase awareness and understanding of the impacts of war. Over $300,000 in grants was awarded and provided additional resources to 43 library jurisdictions throughout California, carrying out 856 activities, and reaching almost 2 million people as communities were brought together with veterans and their families, writers, and historians for their thoughtful reflection and lively discussion in the aftermath of more than 12 years of war.

Programs included interviews with veterans, statewide read of Vietnam War veteran and scholar, Karl Marlantes’ What It Is Like To go To War and author tour, thematic public conversations and much more.

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War Comes Home Partners Included

The California Center for the Book

The California Center for the Book is a nonprofit reading promotion agency affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the California State Library.  CCFB develops and supports statewide programs that celebrate California’s rich literary heritage and that help libraries promote literacy, authorship and civic engagement.


University of California Humanities Research InstituteBased on the UC Irvine campus, UCHRI serves all ten campuses in the UC system, interacting with UC campus humanities centers, other campus research centers, and with individual faculty and graduate students to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary humanities research and pedagogy throughout the University of California system and within the larger communities they inhabit. Stressing interdisciplinary research, the UC Humanities Research Institute bridges gaps between disciplines across the humanities and human sciences and seeks to overcome the intellectual and institutional barriers that can separate the humanities from other fields.

Exhibit Envoy Exhibit Envoy provides high quality, affordable, traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums and other host venues throughout California. Its mission is to build new perspectives among Californians, create innovative exhibitions and solutions, and advance institutions in service to their communities. Created in 1988 by Cal Humanities as a consortium of small community‐based museums, Exhibit Envoy became a separate non‐profit organization in 2002.

The California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP) is a K-16 collaborative of historians, teachers, and affiliated scholars dedicated to the pursuit of educational excellence in history and social science. Headquartered in the Department of History at the University of California, Davis, there are seven CHSSP sites across California.

War Comes Home Press Information

For more information and specific details about War Comes Home, please contact California Humanities Senior Program Officer Felicia Kelley at fkelley@calhum.org.

Please see our Searching for Democracy homepage for information about this past (2012) initiative of Cal Humanities.


See multimedia related to War Comes Home on our Experiences page, and join the conversation on social media using the #warcomeshome hashtag.


There are currently no events scheduled as this program has completed.

Join The Initiative

We want YOU to participate!


  • Read Karl Marlantes’ What It Is Like To Go To War, along with thousands of other Californians this fall! Get a copy from your local bookseller or library or through online vendors.


  • Attend an Author in Conversation event, featuring Karl Marlantes!
  • Attend one of the many War Comes Home-related programs at your local participating CA Reads library (click for map)!
  • Attend a War Comes Home-related event being hosted through our Community Stories program.
  • Share the high school curriculum developed by the California History-Social Science Project with teachers in your community. This free curriculum is designed for 11th & 12th grade history and civics classes and aligns with state and national standards.
  • Experience the humanities through our various War Comes Home related interviews and videos.


  • Join the the conversation face-to face and on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Tag your comments and photos with #warcomeshome.
  • Organize a reading group at your workplace, school, veterans agency, or civic or faith-based organization, using our free discussion guide which includes questions, an author interview, and other helpful resources. Special discounts on bulk purchases are available through the publisher – contact Senior Program Officer Felicia Kelley for details.

War Comes Home Experiences: