My little brother, a Marine in Afghanistan, asked for books, because he and his fellows had little to do during their downtime. (Remember, no gambling – including card playing, no naked or semi-uncovered women, no general rowdiness allowed.) I rallied my fellow librarians, and we sent over ridiculously huge boxes – popular fiction, nonfiction, and classic literature. My brother later sent me a letter mentioning that he was punished by one of his superior officers, because when the officer asked what my brother was doing, he replied, “Reading Paradise Lost, sir.” The officer assumed he was lying. Upon his return from two stints in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, Patrick (never much of a reader), proudly proclaims his profound and unending love for Beowulf, and reads every translation he can get his hands on. I have never been prouder of what I do for a living.
Heads up, librarians. Be good to your soldiers, and have them come home with a serious case of booklove.