Author Kelly Kennedy visits AHS

Publications students and several English and history classes gathered in the auditorium to listen to Kelly Kennedy’s reporting experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, which she used to write her published book, “They Fought for Each Other.” Kennedy is also a close friend to Journalism teacher, Alan Weintraut.

Kennedy was a freelance writer for NASA, The Denver Post and is now a health reporter for USA Today. She has reported on medical-related topics and soldiers experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. At one point in her journalist career, her boss informed her that she must leave to go to Iraq, while American troops were stationed, in order to report first-hand.

“I thought the presentation was really touching and [Kennedy] was very brave to go out into the warzone just to do her job,” sophomore Lois Kim said.

The terrors of war were witnessed with Kennedy’s very own eyes while she tried to do her job and maintain her emotions. These events helped shape her book and her mindset today.

One of the events that was vividly described was that of a bomb explosion, where four men had been trapped inside of a tank which was on fire and flipped upside-down. This is only one of the many events that many would be severely traumatized from, but Kennedy was able to be set free from depression with the help of her friends.

“I would not have been able to do what she did because I can’t handle the emotional effects of war,” senior Adrienne Williams said.

While maintaining friendships with those who had seen their fellow servicemen die, she pursued the creation and publication of her book. Several other people, however, have told her that she had no right to write a book, even though she witnessed everything first-hand. Kennedy continued to work towards the publication of her book, despite the many comments made by others. Being able to write an entire book about the terrors of war and informing others about them expresses how emotionally strong she is.

The understanding and experiences in war-zone that Kennedy had gained, has given her strength and the ability to share her traumatizing reporting. Kennedy left the body of students with the advice to “work hard to move forward.”