Friday I listened to Shannon Meehan and Roger Thompson speak about their new book, “Beyond Duty.” I have only attended a few author lectures, but this speech was by far the best. I spoke to Dr. Pittman and several other students who attended the lecture from my Expository writing class, and all agreed that this was one of the most open book lectures we have heard.
I was shocked by the amount of humility that Meehan showed, by the emotion still locked in his eyes. Just looking at him, one can easily tell that he has been through a lot, and continues to sort through his pain. I love that he and Thompson are encouraging other soldiers to write through their experiences and pain. I have always found journaling therapeutic, so to see Mehaan use journals to aid in writing a book for his own well being and for the education of others was inspiring to me.
I can not imagine living through the conflict Mehaan has seen. He has had to deal with being responsible for the deaths of innocent children. I love that he was so honest in answering questions at the speech. Flipping through his book, I can tell that he is just as honest and shows just as much humility in his memoir. He and Thompson, his ghost writter, wrote this book in four months and edited in a month and a half. That is amazing!
I was ecstatic to have my book signed by these authors, and can not wait to read through Mehaan’s confession and experiences in a war that has dominated my youth. I hope they are successful in their mission to reach out to soldiers, and to inform civilians of the multifaceted and shaded nuances of the “goods” and “bads” of a war where one day American military blows up a building, and the next day they build a church for Iraqi children.
Photograph by Shannon Mehaan while in Iraq.
Picture posted at URL: images.topix.com/gallery/ up-C780JLSVAF5SV1Q3.jpg