Anthology Celebrates Writing by Vets, Military Service Personnel



CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 23, 2013 — Southeast Missouri State University Press will co-host the booklaunch and celebration of the anthology “Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 2” from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, in St. Louis Public Library’s Central Branch auditorium, 1301 Olive Street.

The event is free and open to the public.

The anthology series, now in its second year, is a collection of prose, poetry and photographs by veterans, military service personnel and their families, made possible through collaboration of the Missouri Humanities Council, Southeast Missouri State University Press and the Warriors Arts Alliance.

Moderated by military historian and author John McManus of Missouri University of Science and Technology, the program will feature readings by authors who have contributed to the series and a public discussion of the significance of veterans’ creative writing efforts. Copies of the book will be available for purchase for $15. On Nov. 15, the book also will be available for purchase on the University Press website, Barnes and Noble, and

November is Military Family Appreciation Month, when we are asked to remember that “behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support.”

Authors reading from their work will include:

John Mort Mort is the author of “Soldier in Paradise,” “DONT MEAN NOTHIN: Vietnam War Stories,” and “Goat Boy of the Ozarks.” His new novel, “The Illegal,” has just been released by Southeast Missouri State University Press. He served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam in 1969–1970.

Chris Wubbena Wubbena holds a Master of Fine Arts in art with a sculpture emphasis from San Francisco State University. He is currently an associate professor of sculpture at Southeast Missouri State University. In 2010, Wubbena completed a sculptural installation, titled “Speaking while Listening,” after accompanying his father, a Vietnam Veteran, on a trip back to Vietnam.

Levi Newman Newman, a 10-year Army veteran and graduate of the University of Missouri, currently serves as the senior author for the Veterans United Network. He also works as the director of Outreach for Veterans United Home Loans.

Ashley D. Wallis Wallis grew up an Army brat, was an enlisted soldier, and now is an Army wife, married to an Army infantryman for almost nine years. A mother of two boys, she is currently a full-time student and a writer. She has self-published two novels.

Tim Leach Leach was an artilleryman with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam. A 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee, Leach won the 2009 Russell Grant Poetry Award presented by the University of Missouri – St. Louis Master of Fine Arts program. His poetry has appeared in 23 journals and four regional anthologies. Leach was a journalist and advertising copywriter for 40 years.

Amanda Hilles Hilles served in the U.S. Navy and attended college with her GI benefits. She now writes poetry and practices yoga.

Pamela Foster Foster is the author of the novels “Redneck Goddess” and “Bigfoot Blues,” as well as “On the Move with Chesty and Rocca,” the non-fiction account of her move to Panama with her husband, a former Marine and disabled veteran of the Vietnam War.

Jonathan Travelstead Travelstead served as a firefighter with the Air National Guard and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro, Ill. He has a Master of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University–Carbondale.

Moderator: Dr. John C. McManus McManus earned a doctoral degree in American history and military history from the University of Tennessee, where he served as the assistant director of the Center for the Study of War and Society. He is currently Professor of U.S. Military History at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla and serves as the official historian for the United States Army’s Seventh Infantry Regiment. His books include “American Courage,” “American Carnage: The 7th Infantry Regiment’s Combat Experience,” “1812 Through World War II,” “The Americans at D-Day: The American Experience at the Normandy Invasion,” “Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II,” and “Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II Through Iraq.”