Veteran and author finds unexpected inspiration in Afghanistan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Veteran and author finds unexpected inspiration in Afghanistan

Posted: Updated:
Trent Reedy has written five war novels right here in Spokane. Trent Reedy has written five war novels right here in Spokane.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Inland Northwest is home to amazing artists, musicians, and writers. Award-winning novelist Trent Reedy lives in Spokane, and says he writes his books at local coffee shops and book stores.

"This book is dedicated to the memory and honor of Sergeant Seth Garceau (1982 - 2005) of Alpha Company, 224th Engineer Battalion, in Davenport, Iowa…to all those who never made it home …and to all the children everywhere who have suffered because of our long wars.May all of you always be remembered. May all of us find our way toward peace."

Trent Reedy didn't just write those words. He lived them. "It was an honor serving with him," he said. "He always ahd a smile, and he died 10 years ago from an improvised explosive devise. There are a lot of stories like that."

A lot of stories that Trent turns into novels, right here in Spokane. An Army Engineer in the National Guard, Reedy was deployed to Afghanistan a few years after 9/11 on a "Mission to Provide Reconstruction."

"On September 11th, I remembered that I was a soldier, and that we were at war," Reedy recalled. "I went to Afghanistan, and I had never left the country. I had never even left America."

Reedy knew that he wanted to be a writer his whole life, but he's not sure if he would have turned that dream into a reality if it wasn't for meeting an unexpected inspiration; an Afghan girl who suffered from birth from a cleft palate. He and his fellow soldiers saved up enough money to get her to an army doctor, who was able to operate on her.

"The last time I saw this girl, I promised to tell her story, and it is unlikely that a guy like me would write a book about an Afghan girl, but in the military we keep promises. We have to."

And he did. Her story became the basis for his first novel, Words in the Dust. But she did more than just motivate his writing. That was a turning point for how Reedy saw his mission in Afghanistan. "You see these little kids, and you can't keep your anger up. She's not the enemy. She's more of a victim of the Taliban than I will ever be."

Now, with five books under belt, all related to his service, he says part of the reason he writes is for his fellow veterans. He also feels a sense of duty to write honestly about war, since he knows young people are reading his books. That's why he doesn't cut back on blood, and he won't portray war as a fun adventure. 

"Some of the characters in If You're Reading This talk about how different Call of Duty and other video are from real war," Reedy explained. "In a real war zone, bodies don't disappear. You don't get to shut it off. You remember things that you see, things that you can't possibly forget, for the rest of your life. I feel like I have a responsibility not to glamorize war. I work very hard on that."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mead High School teacher charged with sexual misconduct with a minor

    Mead High School teacher charged with sexual misconduct with a minor

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 6:21 PM EDT2018-05-23 22:21:49 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Mead High School teacher has been arrested and charged with having a sexual relationship with a student.  Last month, court records showed 37-year-old Mead High School teacher Wesley Perez was under investigation for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Mead High School teacher has been arrested and charged with having a sexual relationship with a student.  Last month, court records showed 37-year-old Mead High School teacher Wesley Perez was under investigation for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. 

    >>
  • Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

    Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 5:32 PM EDT2018-05-23 21:32:34 GMT
    Sig HansenSig Hansen
    Sig HansenSig Hansen

    SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) - Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday. Under the plea deal, a property destruction charge was dismissed. Prosecutors also recommended the assault conviction be dropped and the case dismissed if Hansen complies with court conditions for a yea...

    >>

    SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) - Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday. Under the plea deal, a property destruction charge was dismissed. Prosecutors also recommended the assault conviction be dropped and the case dismissed if Hansen complies with court conditions for a yea...

    >>
  • 46-year-old motorcyclist killed in crash on I-90 in Spokane Valley

    46-year-old motorcyclist killed in crash on I-90 in Spokane Valley

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 11:40 AM EDT2018-05-23 15:40:16 GMT
    Spokane man dead after rollover crash in OregonSpokane man dead after rollover crash in Oregon

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol says a 46-year-old Reardan man was killed Tuesday afternoon after crashing his motorcycle on I-90. Troopers say Clinton Heindl was traveling west on the Sprague onramp when he struck the barrier, was thrown from his bike and into the westbound lanes of I-90.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol says a 46-year-old Reardan man was killed Tuesday afternoon after crashing his motorcycle on I-90. Troopers say Clinton Heindl was traveling west on the Sprague onramp when he struck the barrier, was thrown from his bike and into the westbound lanes of I-90.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Police confront man armed with bat during interview about downtown 'problem spot'

    Police confront man armed with bat during interview about downtown 'problem spot'

    Thursday, May 24 2018 2:28 AM EDT2018-05-24 06:28:47 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime is becoming a growing concern in parts of downtown Spokane-- and police are getting all to familiar with it. The worse it gets, the fewer people want to spend time there-- which only creates a vicious cycle. Tonight while while we were in the downtown neighborhood, we saw firsthand what businesses and police are worried about and say they see every day. "I think most areas are overall safe," Officer John O'Brien 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime is becoming a growing concern in parts of downtown Spokane-- and police are getting all to familiar with it. The worse it gets, the fewer people want to spend time there-- which only creates a vicious cycle. Tonight while while we were in the downtown neighborhood, we saw firsthand what businesses and police are worried about and say they see every day. "I think most areas are overall safe," Officer John O'Brien 

    >>
  • Pasco officials revoke city's 22-year personal fireworks ban

    Pasco officials revoke city's 22-year personal fireworks ban

    Thursday, May 24 2018 2:27 AM EDT2018-05-24 06:27:33 GMT

    PASCO, Wash. (AP) - The Washington state city of Pasco has lifted a 22-year ban on personal fireworks. The Tri-City Herald reports that the City Council unanimously voted this week to allow fireworks that stay on the ground, while ones that fly in the air remain illegal. Pasco joins Richland and West Richland in allowing limited fireworks. Bans remain in effect for Franklin County and the cities of Kennewick and Prosser. Mayor Matt Watkins said the council be...

    >>

    PASCO, Wash. (AP) - The Washington state city of Pasco has lifted a 22-year ban on personal fireworks. The Tri-City Herald reports that the City Council unanimously voted this week to allow fireworks that stay on the ground, while ones that fly in the air remain illegal. Pasco joins Richland and West Richland in allowing limited fireworks. Bans remain in effect for Franklin County and the cities of Kennewick and Prosser. Mayor Matt Watkins said the council be...

    >>
  • Case of Legionnaires' disease suspected at UW Medical Center

    Case of Legionnaires' disease suspected at UW Medical Center

    Thursday, May 24 2018 2:25 AM EDT2018-05-24 06:25:20 GMT

    SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) - A case of Legionnaires' disease has been suspected at the University of Washington Medical Center. KOMO-TV reported Wednesday that this is the third time in as many years that the disease has been suspected at the facility. Officials said the patient "has been diagnosed with a highly probable health care associated Legionella pneumonia." Officials said the patient is in satisfactory condition and is responding well to treatment. ...

    >>

    SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) - A case of Legionnaires' disease has been suspected at the University of Washington Medical Center. KOMO-TV reported Wednesday that this is the third time in as many years that the disease has been suspected at the facility. Officials said the patient "has been diagnosed with a highly probable health care associated Legionella pneumonia." Officials said the patient is in satisfactory condition and is responding well to treatment. ...

    >>