Soldiers and leaders: Colby authors
show two perspectives of Iraq war © April 30, 2010, Norwich University Office of Communications

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videos by the Norwich University Office of Communications Author David Bellavia speaks of his experiences in Iraq during the Colby Writers’ Symposium in April 2010.

David Bellavia and Peter Mansoor both served in Iraq with distinction, but the pictures they painted during speaking engagements at the 15th-annual Colby Military Writers’ Symposium at Norwich University in March 2010 couldn’t have been more different.

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Writer Peter Mansoor presented the war in Iraq from a commander’s perspective.

Bellavia, a former Army staff sergeant, is the outspoken author of House to House, an Epic Memoir of War. He served in the First Infantry Division for six years and has been recommended for the Medal of Honor and nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross.

This video shows selected portions of a speech that touched on his combat experience, the importance of having military people in government roles, and the quality he’s observed during two visits to Norwich.

Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel, is author of Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander’s War in Iraq, and other books. His 26-year military career culminated in service as executive officer to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq. He is chairman of military history at Ohio State University.

His speech included a detailed analysis of the failures and successes of U.S. military and political leadership during the conflict, including the inadequacy of attempts to forge cultural ties and understanding with the Iraqi people.

The Colby Symposium was started in 1996, partly due to the efforts of Norwich graduate and author Carlo D’Este. It has brought more than 50 authors, historians, journalists and filmmakers to campus. For more information, visit the 2010 symposium website.