Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts War, Words, and Memory: Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Legacy of Its Veterans – A Panel Discussion

War, Words, and Memory: Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Legacy of Its Veterans – A Panel Discussion

  • Date / Time:
  • February 03, 2014
  • 5:30 pm
  • Venue:
  • FPRI
  • 1528 Walnut Street, Suite 610
  • Philadelphia. PA. US. 19102

Part of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s One Book, One Philadelphia Series
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

Sponsored by:

Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Free Library of Philadelphia



Ann Marie Roepke, Doctoral Student in Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

Gregory Urwin, Professor of Military History,Temple University


Moderated and Introduced by:

Michael P. Noonan, Director of the Program on National Security, Foreign Policy Research Institute


Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds has been trumpeted as perhaps the first great novel to be produced by a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom about that war. On February 3, 2014, the Foreign Policy Research Institute will host a panel of experts – including two veterans of the Iraq war – to discuss the book, examine veterans’ issues, and highlight the impact of both Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and post-traumatic growth from psychological and historical angles. This panel will provide a unique examination of Powers’ novel, and analyze the legacy of the next generation of American veterans.


About the Panelists:

Ann Marie RoepkeAnn Marie Roepke, M.A. is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman. She studies both clinical psychology and positive psychology. Her research interests lie at the intersection of these topics: how do some people manage to survive, and even thrive, despite challenging circumstances? How can people mobilize their own strengths to help them overcome problems? How might people change for the better after the lowest lows and highest highs of their lives? Ms. Roepke’s work is also informed by her previous training in Sociology (B.A. from the University of Arizona, summa cum laude) and her professional work with incarcerated and homeless individuals recovering from substance abuse, trauma, and mental illness.

Gregory UrwinDr. Gregory J.W. Urwin is a military historian whose work spans the American War of Independence through World War 2.  He has published nine books, including Facing Fearful Odds: The Siege of Wake Island, which received the General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Urwin has lectured at the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Philadelphia’s Union League, American Philosophical Society, William L. Clements Library, David Library of the American Revolution, Fort Ticonderoga, and U.S. Army War College. Urwin is President of the Society for Military History, a fellow in both the Company of Military Historians and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and general editor of the Campaigns and Commanders Series from University of Oklahoma Press.

Michael NoonanDr. Michael P. Noonan is the director of FPRI’s Program on National Security. His current research focuses on civil-military relations, defense organizations and missions, counterinsurgency and foreign internal defense campaigning, and the military’s role in combating terrorism. A former Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, in 2006- 2007 he served on a Military Transition Team (MiTT) with an Iraqi light infantry battalion in and around the northern city of Tal`Afar. Among other professional affiliations, he is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and has consulted for the Institute for Defense Analyses. He holds a PhD in political science from Loyola University Chicago and is also a graduate of the University of Scranton and Creighton University. His writings have appeared in The American Interest, Orbis, Parameters, National Security Studies Quarterly, and FPRI E-Notes. He is the editor of, and contributor to, FPRI’s Geopoliticus blog and contributes to the U.S. News and World Report’s The World Report blog and at War on the Rocks.


Free and open to the public, but registration is required. RSVP to: 

For more information contact 215 732 3774, ext 303 or