With Good Reason

From Combat to College
June 29th, 2013

gibillWith the end of the War in Iraq, tens of thousands of soldiers have returned home, and many of them are going to college. But the transition to academia can be hard. Alexis Hart and Roger Thompson (Virginia Military Institute) are traveling the country, coaching professors on how to welcome and support veterans. And: Kurt Vonnegut’s experience as a World War II POW informed his writing decades later. A new biography, by Charles J. Shields (University of Mary Washington), about the iconic countercultural author is called And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life. The man who emerges in the book is not the man his readers believed him to be. Later in the show: When President Ronald Reagan traveled to Normandy in 1984 to mark the 40th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, a young army officer, Casey Brower, was with him and was deeply moved. Casey is now General Casey Brower (Virginia Military Institute) and takes cadets on tours of the American cemeteries for the fallen soldiers in France. The cadets are of the same age as many of the young men who made the sacrifice in the D-Day assault. Also featured: The Great Kanto Earthquake struck Japan in 1923 and killed more than 100,000 people. In the chaos after the disaster, rumors circulated that led hysterical Japanese vigilantes to lynch thousands of Korean and Chinese guest workers. Eric Han (College of William and Mary) explores how modern Japan’s reaction to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake reflects how that nation has changed in the intervening decades.

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With the end of the War in Iraq, tens of thousands of soldiers have returned home, and many of them are going to college. Two Virginia writing professors have taken on a special project aimed at helping veterans transition from the service to the classroom. Allison Quantz reports.