Friday, June 11, 2004


Cathy, a regular reader here, sent in this wonderful story about her niece, a high school senior, who wrote, directed and produced a play at her high school based upon letter correspondence between Paige (Cathy's niece) and Aaron, (Cathy's son, Paige's cousin).

Aaron is PFC Aaron, currently deployed to Iraq.

The link to the newspaper article is here, however it may require free registration for you to actually read it.
Letters between two cousins, one at home in Texas, the other serving in Iraq, became the substance of a timely and poignant play based on reality, titled "Exchange."

The playwrights are Paige Thornsberry and Pfc. Aaron Clark...

Thornsberry was the director, producer and writer...

"Much of the content is actual letters written by Aaron and Paige,"
said Clark...

In the director's notes on the playbill, Thornsberry writes, "In May 2003, my cousin Aaron was shipped out to Iraq. Ever since then the two of us have stayed in close contact through letters.

"Aaron has helped me through many problems and he has been an
inspiration to me. I decided to share my inspiration with the world."...

"One of the really important parts is where he tells her the reason
for the war. That's what really grabs me, and the students too - his convictions.

It explains to her that they're there for her and everyone else. I
could tell that those were really his words. I could tell he wrote this to her."
Impressive, Paige...and well done, I'm certain.

But the thing that struck me like a cold slap was Cathy's comment in the email she sent.

The good thing about the play is that it brought awareness to a group of students. Before they learned of Aaron, the war was something to protest because it was the popular thing to do. They now realize that there are real people involved, and real reasons for the war.

"The war was something to protest because it was the popular thing to do."

Is there a more succinct, apt statement that can be made of huge portions of America and their reckless, uninformed spouting off?

Yes, yes, a hundred times yes, it is the Soldier who has ensured the right of protest by our (and lately Iraqi) citizens.

But perhaps it bears reminding those who chant and march: Protest is easy. To truly change the world for the better is difficult and requires incredible commitment from Soldiers and families of courage and conviction.
Thanks for the story, Cathy. And tell Aaron we're behind him and his mission 100%

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