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Book Published by Parishioner Featured on NPR

June 22, 2011
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Parishioner David Farnsworth, owner of Casemate Publishers, has recently published the book, Shade it Black: Death and After in Iraq, by Jessica Goodell, USMC.  In the book, the author reflects on her life and times in the first officially declared Mortuary Unit of the United States Marine Corps in Iraq.  The Mortuary Unit was tasked with the recovery and identification (as far as possible) of the bodies of soldiers killed in action in Iraq.  The book’s title references the form they were required to fill out when shipping a body back to the United States.  Body parts not present or not recoverable were shaded black.

The book is an honest look at the very human cost, on multiple levels, of the war in Iraq from a person who experienced it all first hand.  Jessica Goodell speaks with a certain grace but it is a sobering grace, colored by years of experiences none of us would ever want to have.  She also writes powerfully of the way in which female marines were often treated by their fellow male marines, and of the horrific impact of PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A video trailer of the book can be found here by clicking here.

Yesterday, Jessica Goodell was interviewed on NPR’s “Fresh Air” program.  Though it is long (about 45 minutes) it was a stunning interview and one which you should take the time to listen to.  Click here to listen.

Thank you Jessica Goodell for having the courage to tell your story and thank you to David for having the foresight to publish this important memoir.  War always costs more than dollars.
Fr. Ryan+

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