Kelly Kennedy speaks at “AHS Meets the Press”


An award-winning journalist and best-selling author, Kennedy spoke at the event on Oct. 22.

Jude Nanaw, Co-Editor in Chief

Kelly Kennedy, a best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and U.S. military combat veteran was the guest speaker at the first “AHS Meets the Press” of the school year. The event for aspiring journalism students was held in Clausen Hall on Oct. 22.

Kennedy joined the Army at the age of 17 in order to pay for her college education and pursue a career in journalism. During her time in the Army, Kennedy served in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm and also served in Mogadishu, Somalia.

“Her combat stories were so riveting that at one point I got chills,” sophomore Khadija Ahmed said.

Kennedy shared experiences from her youth and discussed her journey in becoming a journalist in addition to sharing stories from her time in combat.

“The moment that I knew I wanted to be a writer was when I wrote a story as a nerdy little kid in the third grade,” Kennedy said.

Now a writer for The New York Times’ At War blog, Kennedy initially found an interest in journalism as an editor for her high school newspaper.

“In high school I started taking journalism classes and that made me realize that I can make a difference by telling stories or writing about complex things and making them understandable,” Kennedy said.

From there, Kennedy served as president of Military Reporters and Editors. She shared stories about her covering of the PTSD experiences faced by soldiers as she embedded in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kennedy wrote an award-winning book following her experiences titled They Fought For Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq.

In addition, Kennedy is the co-author of Kate Germano’s Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind how Female Marines are Trained. She also spent several years at USA Today covering topics ranging from healthcare to veterans’ issues.

Kennedy encouraged students to stay determined and confident in pursuing their interests and passions in life as their future careers.

“I love speaking to and sharing my experiences with students,” Kennedy said. “I enjoy seeing that they are trying new things and have so much ahead of them,” Kennedy said.

“AHS Meet the Press” will take place each quarter in Clausen Hall as local journalists will visit AHS as they share their journalistic and life experiences with students.

“I think AHS Meets the Press is a really cool event,” senior Elias Moura said. “We get to meet and learn abour others’ experiences in our same field.”