Originally appeared on GlobeNewswire 12 veterans with disabilities come together to break through personal barriers and attempt to summit Mt. Baker Sept. 11 May 15, 2019 06:00 ET | Source: No Barriers Fort Collins, Colorado, May 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- No...
On the outside, 48-year-old Denver resident Ryan Kelly looks like your average guy. With a quick smile and a shake of the hand, he’s just easy to be with. But on the inside, Kelly carries a very heavy load.
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:
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.”
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.”
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.
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.