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Bonenberger graduated from Yale with a B.A. in English in 2002. He served with the U.S. Army from 2005-2012 as an infantry officer, deploying twice to Afghanistan. He earned a degree in Journalism from Columbia and an MFA in Creative Fiction from SUNY Stony Brook Southampton. He has published numerous articles on the military, national security, and veterans affairs with a variety of outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Deadspin, Forbes, and others. His war memoirs, "Afghan Post," were published in 2014, and he co-edited and contributed to an anthology of original veterans fiction in 2016 titled "The Road Ahead." Most recently he has written about Ukraine, where he lived and worked from 2015-2017.