Pulitzer Prize Winner Visits K-State

Journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, David Finkel, visited the KSU Alumni Center Thursday to talk about his latest book, “Thank you for your service”.

The book explores the lives of several Fort Riley Soldiers in the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, and the challenges they’ve faced since returning from active duty.

“They came home I think expecting for everything to be okay, and it’s not okay; and so many of these lives I’ve seen and described, are lives that feel out of control,” said Finkel, “It’s bewildering and it’s angering to these people. They’re wounded, they’re trying to get better, but so much of day-to-day life at this point is a reaction to something; and it’s a scramble to just regain their footing and feel in control of life again.”

“Thank You For Your Service” is an extension of Finkel’s previous book “The Good Soldiers”, a New York Times Best Book of the Year, which follows the same soldiers during their tour of duty in Baghdad from 2007-2008.

“The idea of the first book was not to write about war; it was to try to write about the character of young men when they were sent into a moment of the war when the war was presumed to be all but over, the tragic moment, and to see what happened to them,” said Finkel.

When asked if “Thank you for your service” was the last chapter of his seven-year journey, Finkel said he was unsure.

“When I think about it, I think it’s the important work of my life. I would like to keep it up, I would like to think of a 3rd volume, but you know, I’m not there yet.”

Finkel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 and a MacAurther Foundation “Genius” Grant in 2012. He lives in the Washington D.C. area where he is a writer and editor for The Washington Post.