Jeff Shaara Short Cut Transcript
Jeff Shaara: I was invited by the National Endowment for the Arts to participate in Operation Homecoming where they invited authors to go to military bases all over the country to talk to the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, about just telling their story. You don't have to be a skilled writer. It's not about writing a book or some classic piece of fiction. Just write it down, whatever you experience. It doesn't have to be, you know, bullets whizzing over my head. It doesn't have to be that kind of stuff. Anything. Tell us your story. Your parents, your spouse, the spouse sitting at home: what's that story? Tell that story. From the child's point of view, "Daddy's at war." Tell that story. It was an enormous success. I went to Fort Richardson, Alaska, led some writing workshops, spoke to a number of troops there. And then, I went to Bahrain. I went to the Persian Gulf. I was on the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson for a week, one night on a guided missile destroyer, the USS Mustin. What an experience, eye opening-- I mean, I'm standing on the deck of the carrier watching F18's take off. And the marines were in mourning for two of their dead when I was there. What an intense experience. That, first of all, changed my way of writing, I mean, about these soldiers in relating to them. But I hope I encouraged some of them to participate in this program. And the results have been enormously successful. The book has come out: It's calledOperation Homecoming, it's stories from the home front and stories from the military." I encourage people to pick up this book, simply called "Operation Homecoming," strongly advise it. This is not me hocking a book here. I get nothing for this. This is the voice of the soldiers. This is the voice we do not hear on CNN and FOX news. This is a story we simply don't get. And it's honest. Some of it's raw. Some of it's pretty brutal. Some of it's just emotional and sort of a sad poignant sort of a way. But it's us. This is the voice we must remember.