Antonio Abréu and Joseph Lawler
Filmmakers and Featured Iraq War Veteran
Youth filmmakers Antonio Abréu and Joseph Lawler, under the auspices of YO-TV and the Educational Video Center of New York,
made the video All That I Can Be, featured in the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize Recipient documentary Why We Fight. All That
I Can Be traces the journeys of two New York teen-age Army recruits, William and Dorian, one to basic training and the other
to a tour of duty in Iraq. All That I Can Be is “at once an intimate portrait and an exploration of the promises and realities
of the U. S. military in post-9/11 America. ” All That I Can Be has been shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Tribeca
Film Festival, the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, the Mountain Top Film Festival, and won the Economic Justice
Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival.
Poet and Playwright • Vietnam Veteran
Doug Anderson served as a medic in Vietnam and is arguably the most eloquent poet to emerge from that experience. In his
work he often draws from the epics of Homer for context and provocation. His published volumes of poetry include The Moon
Reflected Fire and, most recently, Blues for Unemployed Secret Police. His current work has appeared in Poetry and The
Pushcart Prize XXIX.
Charles Berkowitz is an independent filmmaker based in New York and San Francisco. His Achilles in Vietnam, a 90-minute
documentary based on the 1992 book Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character by Dr. Jonathan Shay
has been screened at college campuses across the nation including West Point, Harvard, Yale, the University of Southern
California, and the University of Louisiana. It was included in a joint seminar on Homer and Vietnam by the American
Philological Association and was featured at the University of Missouri St. Louis conference “Achilles in Iraq”. He is
currently completing the sequel, entitled Odysseus in America, also based on the work of Jonathan Shay.
Photographer • Photojournalist
Nina Berman's pictures have been published in magazines throughout the world, including Time, Newsweek, Fortune, New York
Times Magazine, Harpers, Stern, and National Geographic. She has received several awards including POY and Communication
Arts, and has been exhibited at Perpignan's "Visa pour l'image." Educated at the University of Chicago and Columbia University,
she is now a frequent lecturer at the International Center of Photography in New York. Her recent book, Purple Hearts:
Back from Iraq, presents portraits and interviews with American soldiers wounded in the Iraq War.
Vietnam Veteran • Poet
Michael Casey, after graduating from Lowell Technological Institute in 1968, was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a
military policeman in Quang Ngai Provence, which provides the setting for his first book of poetry, Obscenities, published in
1972 as volume 67 of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Stanley Kunitz selected Casey’s poetry for inclusion in this
prestigious series and himself wrote the introduction to Obscenties, heralding it as “the first significant book of poems
written by an American to spring from the war in Vietnam.” Since then Casey has published two volumes of poetry, Millrat and
The Million Dollar Hole.
Journalist • Classical Scholar • Professor
Chris Hedges has worked for the Christian Science Monitor, the Dallas Morning News, National Public Radio, and most recently
the New York Times. In 2002 he shared the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of global terrorism, and won the Amnesty
International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. During his fifteen years as a war correspondent, he was ambushed
in Central America, imprisoned in Sudan, held hostage in Iraq, and beaten by Saudi military police. An avid scholar of the
classics, he holds a Masters in Divinity from Harvard University. A Senior Fellow at the Nation Institute, he currently
teaches American Studies at Princeton University. The author of countless articles and essays, his books include: War is
a Force that Gives Us Meaning; What Every Person Should Know About War; and Losing Moses on the Freeway: the 10 Commandments
Author • U.S. Navy Spouse
Kristin Henderson is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post Magazine. As the wife of a Navy chaplain who served
with the Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, Henderson, a Quaker, is active in the Marine Corps' Key Volunteer family support
program and Compass, the Navy's spouse mentoring program. She often writes about the military spouse's perspective on
deployment and homecoming issues. Kristin is the author of the critically praised memoir, Driving by Moonlight: A Journey
Through Love, War, and Infertility, which details her experience during her husband's deployment to Afghanistan following 9/11.
Her latest book While They're at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront takes a broader look at the
experiences of military families in wartime.
Classical Scholar • College President
With Degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Yale, President Hexter began his teaching career at Yale, where he directed
undergraduate studies in the humanities. He then moved to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was professor
of classics and comparative literature and director of the graduate program in comparative literature. In 1995 he joined
the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley where he served as Executive Dean of Letters and Sciences until
coming to Hampshire College in the summer of 2005. His publications include: Equivocal Oaths and Ordeals in Medieval
Literature; Ovid and Medieval Schooling: Studies in Medieval School Commentaries on Ovid's Ars Amatoria, Epistulae ex Ponto
and Epistulae Heroidum; and A Guide to the Odyssey: A Commentary on the English Translation of Robert Fitzgerald. He is
co-editor, with Daniel Selden, of Innovations of Antiquity.
In the 1960’s, Randy Kehler was drafted and refused induction into the Army. For his refusal to serve in the military he
went to jail and served twenty-two months in federal prison. In 1979 he founded the Traprock Peace Center. Since then he
has remained active in movements concerned with peace and social justice, such as the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze
Campaign, the Peace Development Fund, and the Working Group on Electoral Democracy. He is a nationally respected leader in the
war tax resistance movement and has been profiled in many books and documentary films. One of these, An Act of Conscience,
directed by Robbie Leppzer and narrated by Martin Sheen, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received multiple
national broadcasts. The inimitable Studs Terkel, whose books include Working, The Good War, and Hope Dies Last, called it
"one of the most deeply moving films I’ve seen in years… Seeing this movie lifts your spirits, exhilarates, and offers hope."
Writer • Journalist
A graduate of Harvard University and of the University of Iowa, Tracy Kidder served as an Army First Lieutenant in Vietnam
from 1967 to 1969 and was awarded the Bronze Star. His second book, The Soul of a New Machine won a Pulitzer Prize and
the American Book Award in 1982. This was followed by a series of best-selling non-fiction works, including House, Among
Schoolchildren (awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 1989), Old Friend, Home Town and Mountains Beyond Mountains.
His most recent book, My Detachment: A Memoir, chronicles his service in Vietnam where he led a small radio intelligence
detachment in support of the 198th Light Infantry Brigade of the Americal Division at Chu Lai. In addition to his books,
Kidder has written numerous articles on a broad array of topics-railroads, energy, architecture, the environment, literature,
and much more-for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker and the New York Times Book Review.
William P. Mahedy
Veteran • Chaplain • Therapist • Author
William P. Mahedy has taught college and high school, served as an army chaplain with a tour in Vietnam, worked for the
VA and served as a university chaplain. During his time with the VA, he helped write the program design for the VA's
nationwide Vet Center program. He worked as a Vet Center “team leader” and helped establish a rehabilitation center for
drug and alcohol addicted veterans. His last assignment before retiring was working as a chaplain in a VA clinic for veterans
with combat related posttraumatic stress disorder. Through the VA, he has worked with veterans of every American war since
the Spanish American War. He is the author of several books, including Out of the Night: The Spiritual Journey of Vietnam
Vets. He has written and lectured extensively on the ethical, moral and religious issues of war and about war's impact on
Robert Emmet Meagher
Playwright/Translator • Professor • Theatrical Director
Robert Meagher is Professor of Humanities at Hampshire College, where he has taught since 1972. His publications include
over a dozen books, as well as a handful of translations from ancient Greek (Aeschylus and Euripides) and several original
plays. His most recent book, due to appear in March 2006, is entitled Herakles Gone Mad: Rethinking Heroism in an Age of
Endless War. Alongside his scholarly work, Meagher has offered workshops on the translation and production of Greek drama
for the contemporary stage at a number of colleges and universities, here and abroad, and has himself directed productions
of Euripidean dramas at such venues as the Samuel Beckett Centre in Dublin, the Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City,
and the Nandan Centre for the Performing Arts in Kolkota, India.
Vietnam Veteran • Farmer • Poet • Activist
Al Miller was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967 and served a tour in Vietnam with the U.S. Army Americal Division, as an
infantry squad leader. Miller was badly wounded in action and returned to the U.S., where he was awarded a Bronze Star and
a Purple Heart. In addition to being a full-time farmer, Miller frequently reads his poems, based on his Vietnam war
experiences, in a variety of area venues. As a long-standing member of the Veterans Education Project, he also speaks
extensively in schools about his military experience, and is active in the local peace movement and with the Buddhist
community resident at the Leverett Peace Pagoda. He has participated in a variety of national movements as well, fasting
for a month in the 1980’s at the U.S. Capitol and at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to protest the then very strict U.S.
trade embargo against post-war Vietnam.
Filmmaker • Director / Editor of Occupation Dreamland
Ian Olds edited and co-wrote of Cul de Sac: A Suburban WarStory, which premiered the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival
and was acquired for broadcast by The Sundance Channel in 2004 and ARTE-France in 2005. Ian also directed the short
narrative film Two Men, an adaptation of a Denis Johnson short story, which premiered at the 2005 Clermont-Ferrand
International Short Film Festival as one of only five American films in International Competition and went on to win the Best
Short Film award at the Woodstock International Film Festival. Ian won a 2005 Princess Grace Award and will receive his MFA
from Columbia University’s film division in 2006.
Air Force Veteran • Journalist • Novelist
Kim Ponders, after graduating from Syracuse University, worked as a journalist in northern California. She holds an M.S. in
International Relations and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. After joining the Air Force, she flew E-3 AWACS surveillance
missions over Iraq in the first Gulf War, and she now works as a flight test engineer for the Air Force Reserves in New
Hampshire. Her first novel, The Art of Uncontrolled Flight, was published to considerable critical acclaim in the fall of
2005, and she is currently at work on a second novel about the Air Force Academy. Her husband is a veteran of the wars in
Kosovo and Afghanistan.
C. Brian Rose
Professor • Archaeologist • Curator — University of Pennsylvania
A graduate of Haverford College and Columbia University, C. Brian Rose is currently James B. Pritchard Professor of
Archaeology and Curator-in-charge of the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and
Anthropology. Following in the footsteps of the late and legendary Carl Blegen, Rose was head of the University of
Cincinnati’s Troy excavation team from 1988 to 2003, partnering with Manfred Korfman of the University of Tübingen, the
Troy Project Director. The BBC, The New York Times, Archaeology magazine and other major media sources have featured
Rose’s work, and his publications abound. Among the team’s many finds under Rose’s direction, was a ditch cut out of the
bedrock in the span of time associated with the Trojan War, possibly as a defense against war chariots. A specialist on
ancient Iraq and Afghanistan, he has spoken and organized panels on the cultural cost of waging war, and on behalf of the
Archaeological Institute of America has addressed U.S. troops heading to Iraq and Afghanistan regarding archaeological sites
there. He will speak in part about this experience in his lecture.
Rev. Philip G. Salois
Vietnam Veteran • Chaplain • Counselor
Father Phil, as he is known and cherished by countless veterans, is currently Chief of the Chaplain Service for the VA Boston
Healthcare System. After graduating from high school, giving college a try, and going to work as a workman's compensation
claims adjuster, Philip Salois was drafted into the U.S. Army and trained as an infantryman. In March 1969 he found himself
in Vietnam, where, leading a rescue mission, he won the Silver Star. Several years later he entered the seminary and was
ordained a Catholic priest in 1984. Fr. Salois was the first person to be named National Chaplain of the Vietnam Veterans
of America, a title that he holds to this day. In 1989, he founded the National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers,
an organization for those who served in Vietnam as enlisted men and women and later answered the call to ordained ministry.
The founding purpose of this organization was to share personal trauma stories with one another on the level of faith and
spirituality. Since then, the National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers has developed a Spiritual Healing Weekend
Retreat Program for combat veterans and their spouses or significant others and continues to serve as a clinic for wounded
Psychiatrist • Classical Scholar • Veterans' Advocate
Dr. Jonathan Shay, a singularly eminent and influential advocate of U.S. combat veterans, has worked with PTSD patients for
nearly two decades as a staff psychiatrist for the Boston VA Outpatient Clinic. He is the author of Achilles in Vietnam:
Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming. Dr. Shay
has been a visiting scholar-at-large at the U.S. Naval War College, presented a Secretary of the Navy's Guest Lecture at
the Pentagon, and until recently held the Chair of Ethics in the U.S. Army.
Aaron Lawrence Professor of Classics, Dartmouth College
A graduate of the University of Texas and Princeton University, James Tatum has taught at Dartmouth since 1969 and has in
the meantime held numerous visiting professorships at a range of colleges and universities, including Middlebury College,
Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, Princeton and Heidelberg. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships
and awards, among them a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting
Professor for Distinguished Teaching, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University. His many distinguished
publications include: Plautus: The Darker Comedies, Xenophon's Imperial Fiction: On the Education of Cyrus and The Search
for the Ancient Novel. Most recently, he has published The Mourner's Song: War and Remembrance from the Iliad to Vietnam.
Iraq War Veteran • Poet
Brian Turner served seven years in the U.S. Army, and for much of 2004 was an infantry team leader with the 3rd Stryker
Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division near Mosul. His first published collection of poems, Here, Bullet, won the 2005
Beatrice Hawley Award and has been acclaimed in the New York Times and the New Yorker.
David T. Vacchi
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army o Professor of Military Leadership, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
David T. Vacchi is responsible for all Army ROTC training and instruction at the Five Colleges and in the Greater
Springfield, MA area. He was commissioned from Purdue University in 1988, with a Bachelors Degree in Organizational
Leadership and received a Master's Degree in Administration in 1997 from Central Michigan University. He was a senior
leader in two different units during the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served throughout the Sunni Triangle.
He also served as the U.S. Embassy Liaison for a Joint Task Force in Kuwait during the seven months prior to the war.
Veterans Education Project Speakers
At many of the lectures, films, and other events of the Nostoi/Homecomings Project, local members of the Veterans Education
Project will take part as featured commentators, responding from their experiences and perspectives as combat veterans to what
has been said or presented. They will tell their stories, share their struggles, and offer their insights. For nearly
twenty-five years the Veterans Education Project has trained military veterans of many wars, from World War II to Iraq,
to work as volunteers who share their stories in educational workshops in middle schools, high schools and youth programs.
VEP veterans and staff have developed a program that uses veterans' war stories, classroom activities and discussion to
educate teenagers about the realities and consequences of violence and to foster critical thinking skills.