By Michael McNulty, European Regional Library Support CenterJuly 29, 2008
HEIDELBERG, Germany - The Installation Management Command-Europe Library Program is presenting critically acclaimed author Andrew Carroll as part of his What's Your Story' tour, a series of discussions and readings planned at nine locations throughout Germany.
The tour is supported by IMCOM-Europe MWR and through the National Endowment for the Arts' groundbreaking program - Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience - which has preserved stories of U.S. servicemembers and their families since 2004.
Carroll, 38, is the editor of the New York Times bestsellers "Behind the Lines" and "War Letters," which was made into a PBS documentary. Carroll is founder and director of the Legacy Project, a national, all-volunteer initiative that works to honor and remember U.S. servicemembers and veterans by preserving their wartime correspondence. His efforts have been profiled on "Oprah," "NBC Nightly News," FOX News, CNN, The History Channel, C-Span, National Public Radio, "CBS Sunday Morning," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America" and "Nightline." Carroll is also a regular columnist for WORLD WAR II magazine.
The What's Your Story' tour includes stops at garrison libraries in Heidelberg, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, Baumholder, Landstuhl, Schweinfurt, Bamberg and Grafenwoehr.
Carroll will discuss his involvement with NEA's Operation Homecoming, an unprecedented effort supported by Boeing Co. to send prominent writers to military installations, encouraging servicemembers and their families to write about their experiences and to share letters, e-mails, journals, short stories, poems and other writings.
To date, NEA has received more than 1,200 submissions, with approximately 100 of the most compelling works featured in the anthology Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families. The anthology, edited by Carroll, received critical acclaim and inspired a 2008 Oscar-nominated documentary.
This year, the NEA's Operation Homecoming program will host writing workshops for veterans and active-duty troops at 25 VA medical centers, military hospitals and affiliated centers in communities throughout the United States.
At every stop, Carroll will discuss his on-going travels around the world - including treks to Iraq and Afghanistan - to seek out and preserve wartime correspondence for the Legacy Project.
"Nobody can tell stories about life in the military better than our troops and their families can," Carroll said, "and I hope that Soldiers stationed at the bases I'll be visiting will attend the events to help us spread the word about them as well. I know many servicemembers and their loved ones feel that the 'real stories' about our armed forces are not being told. This will be a great opportunity to share them."
Carroll invites attendees to the What's Your Story' programs to share their own writings. He will hand out the NEA booklet Operation Homecoming: A Guide for Writers and discuss writing tips for those who want to begin writing their wartime experiences.
The events are free and open to U.S. servicemembers and their families.
Places, times and dates of events are:
Heidelberg PHV Library, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26;
Wiesbaden Library, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27;
Stuttgart Patch Library, 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28;
Baumholder Library, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2;
Landstuhl Library, 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4;
Schweinfurt Library, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9;
Bamberg Library, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10;
Grafenwoehr Library, 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11;
IMCOM-Europe Headquarters, PHV Theater, 3 p.m. Sept. 15.