On Feb. 6, the Syracuse University Alumni Speaker Series will host Matt Zeller, a 2006 MPA/IR graduate of the Maxwell School, to answer questions about his career and speak about his book, “Watches Without Time: An American Soldier in Afghanistan.” The event will take place in Maxwell Auditorium at 7:30PM.
Captain Zeller is a U.S. Army veteran who was an embedded combat adviser with the Afghan security forces for most of 2008. The book originated from a lengthy series of email messages he sent to his friends and family back home chronicling his time embedded with Afghan forces: texts that he could not even bring himself to revisit until two years after his return from Afghanistan. He has described it as “not a typical war memoir,” because it highlights several rarely exposed aspects of the life of an American soldier such as the inadequate training he was given before deployment, and the difficulties he had reintegrating and adjusting back to civilian life after his return to the United States. He hopes his work will resonate with other returning soldiers struggling to make sense of their experiences in battle, spark dialogue about the longterm repercussions of the war, and make Americans think more deeply about the many kinds of costs involved before they send troops into combat in the future.
A native of Rochester, NY, Capt. Zeller is currently a consultant on alternative energy issues, working in northern Virginia. After returning from Afghanistan, Capt. Zeller decided to run for Congress. In 2010, he was the Democratic nominee for New York’s 29th Congressional District, running on a strong veterans’ rights platform. Though he was not elected then, he hopes he will have a chance to serve in political office in the future.
This event is sponsored by Syracuse University Career Services and the Office of Alumni Relations. For more information, contact Kim Brown.