Ghost of War


Today I received the latest edition of Connections.

Connections is Empire State College’s official student and alumni magazine.

I love when Connections arrives on my doorstep!  As a non-traditional student, at a non-traditional school, the magazine gives me a tangible link to the college wide community.  I deeply appreciate the value it brings to my life.

One of the greatest benefits of the magazine is that it provides a glimpse into the great work that our students and faculty are doing within their communities and the world at large.  I’m a huge supporter of our college community, and I relish any opportunity to reflect on our achievements and contributions.

As I was browsing through this latest edition, I was thrilled to stumble across a piece on Ryan Smithson’s book Ghost of War.

Ghost of War is Ryan’s personal memoire, and tells the story of his war in Iraq.  A story that no doubt has to be told.

Despite the media coverage that has been offered on the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s a stunning disconnect between what’s represented in the media, and what our service men and woman experience during their time on foreign lands.

Reality has a long history of giving reverential treatment to sensational narrative, but this does little to inform the public.

One of the most striking things about Ryan’s story is that it tells the story of a combat support Soldier at war; which is overwhelmingly the norm in combat zones.

This is atypical for the media because it’s far more romantic to discuss the exploits of rifleman and special operators than to tell the story of those who support them; largely because of public misconception about how modern wars are waged, and the dynamics of service in theatre.

As a combat support veteran of the war in Afghanistan I appreciate Ryan’s effort to tell his story.

I can’t wait for my opportunity to read his book!


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