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The Iraq War in The New Yorker

Some of The New Yorker’s best writing about the war has been by soldiers themselves. In June of 2006, in a feature called “Soldiers’ Stories,” the magazine published a selection of letters, e-mails, journal entries, and personal essays by soldiers in Iraq. One letter, from Captain Ryan Kelly to his mother, begins this way:

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NEA’s ‘Homecoming’ gives soldiers a voice

Army Capt. Ryan Kelly is among U.S. military personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq appearing in Lawrence Bridges’ documentary titled “Muse of Fire,” about the National Endowment of the Arts project “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience.”

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Former pilot raises many questions in play about torture in Iraq

There’s hardly an issue in the Iraq War that doesn’t come up in “Rendition,” a play written by Ryan Kelly, a former Black Hawk pilot in Iraq. And there are just as many voices. Torture is Kelly’s overriding theme, and it is taken to an extreme with an ending not unlike Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus.”

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Soldier letters reveal true cost of war

Most would say that a writer’s dream is realized when his or her work is published. But Ryan Kelly can’t bear to read “Operation Homecoming,” the book where his experiences were captured. The memories are still too raw. A Company Commander and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Kelly spent a year in Iraq.

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Soldiers’ Stories

These selections from letters, e-mails, journals, and personal essays, by soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines who served or are serving in the current war in Iraq, are part of a project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts called Operation Homecoming, which invited American troops and their families to write about their wartime experiences.

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