Different wars and soldiers demand different sorts of storytellers about them.
World War II had the grunt's-eye view of Ernie Pyle. Vietnam was revelead in Michael Herr's dark missives. Afghanistan has Sebastian Junger, whose books and Academy Award nominated documentary Restrepo help to define the modern wartime experience.
Junger will share those experiences Sept. 22 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, as parts of the University of South Florida's Frontier Forum Lecture Series. Admission is free for the 7:30 p.m. event, with no tickets required. Doors open at 6:30.
Junger has long been inspired by dangerous situtations, leading to his breakthrough 1997 novel The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, that later became a movie starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg.
A decade later, Junger was oin assignment in Afghanistan for Vanity Fair, alongside photographer Tim Hetherington. Their experiences embedded with a platoon for a year in the deadly Korengal Valley led to Restrepo, culled from first-person footage shot there.
Hetherington was killed in 2011, by a bomb blast while covering the war in Libya.
Junger's latest book is Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, exploring the issue of war veterans leaving their positions and platoon mates to return home. Assimilation back into society, often under the strain of PTSD, can bring a lack of emotional intimacy, making reconnection difficult.
Following the lecture, Junger will autograph copies of his book.