War Comes Home

Andrew Carroll, a contributing editor of several New York Times best-selling books including “War Letters” and “Behind the Lines,” and John Benitz, an award-winning film and play director were guest speakers who discussed how they honor veterans and active duty troops.

Over the past 17 years, Americans have shared an estimate of 100,000 previously unpublished letters and emails from every war in U.S History. In 2008, Benitz approached Carroll about the possibility of a play based on Carroll’s war letters. Three years later, Benitz directed a premier called “If All the Sky Were Paper.”

Carroll and Benitz were both directly involved in the When War Comes Home exhibit Pierce is holding in the library.

“The home part is in two ways,” said Chairman of the library department Paula Paggi. “While the soldier is gone, the people from home and about how they’re dealing with their soldier, husband, or spouse out in war. And then when the soldier comes home, how that whole experience is dealt with because he is a changed person after all the stuff he’s gone through.”

According to Paggi, there are 700 veterans currently enrolled in campus, and through events such as the War Comes Home exhibit, it is a chance to honors our veterans.

“We can appreciate some of the things they’ve gone through and most of us have family that has gone through some of those too at one point or another,” said Paggi.

Outreach librarian Lisa Valdez helped organize a number of events throughout the month of November to honor veterans. Events throughout the month includes an Art Gallery from November 2-December 4 where the veterans enrolled on campus have put on display, a veteran’s panel being held in the ASO from 11-12, a trivia that is held at the library every Monday, and a poster art contest that is open to all students where they reflect on what they saw at the Art Gallery exhibit, and a fundraiser barbeque for veterans on Tuesday.  

“It really is [going well],” said Valdez. “The students have really showed a lot interest in it, and I think it gives them all a different perspective.”

Pierce is also having a dance performance that starts off the Fall Concert being held in Nov. 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. that directly correlates with the theme to honor the veterans.

“I think it’s really really awesome,” said Benitz. “I think more should be done, and I really appreciate Pierce reaching out to us to do this, and try to make a connection with the students because it really is a worthy thing to put a focus on.”

Carroll wanted to share with everyone who has letters that they have and want to share, to go to warletters.us to find out more information.