Everyone’s life is a story, and the Defense Department will help 10 service members and an Army spouse tell their stories as part of the TEDxPentagon Web event today.
These are human stories, stressed Sumit Agarwal, deputy assistant secretary of defense for outreach and social media.
“These are not dry recitations of statistics,” Agarwal said.
TEDxPentagon is licensed by TED, which stands for Technology Entertainment Design. Speakers talk for 18 minutes and tell stories about their lives, their beliefs, their work or their relationships.
“It is a great way to connect Americans with their military members,” Agarwal said of the Web event. And the stories are incredible. Former Fort Benning resident Sarah Hertig will read a letter to her daughter about being an Army wife. Navy Lt. John F. Pucillo will speak about serving in Iraq. The lieutenant lost his leg in a roadside-bomb explosion in 2006. In August 2007, he returned to active duty as an explosive ordnance disposal officer.
Army Col. Geoffrey Ling will speak about being on the cutting edge of science. Ling works with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Julia Watson will speak about her experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and her outreach to women in those countries.
Also speaking are former Fort Benning commanding general, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, commander of the Army Accessions Command; Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeffrey W. Schmidt, a tactical air controller; Rear Adm. David Titley, the oceanographer and navigator of the Navy; Air Force Tech. Sgt. Stuart Wilson, a cyberspace defense operator, and Navy Capt. (Dr.) William Todd, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.
Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward, the first commander of U.S. Africa Command, will end the sessions with a talk about leadership.
The stories will be available on YouTube, and people can watch the speeches as they are delivered at http://www.livestream.com/TEDxPentagon. The sessions start at 10 a.m. EDT Nov. 19.
Go to www.army.mil for more information.