Sharing veterans’ stories onstage

North Carolina is home to more than 775,000 military veterans, an estimated 100,000-plus active military personnel. Gregory DeCandia ’16 (MFA) conducted interviews with members of North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Inc., UNC-Chapel Hill’s ROTC and veterans throughout the nation. From these narratives, he and collaborators created Silhouettes of Service (SOS), a solo theater performance piece that he’s performed 12 times, often with interviewees or their family members in the audience. “SOS was a personal quest to being able to understand the sacrifices, struggles and pride, and to honor soldiers’ experiences while serving our country,” DeCandia said. “I hope the personal insights SOS offers will inspire audiences to further their knowledge and appreciation of the less than 1 percent of Americans who protect the remaining 99 percent. It is truly an honor that these brave men and women entrusted me with their stories.”

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DeCandia received a 2016 Graduate Impact Education Impact Award, funded by private gifts, from the Graduate School in recognition for contributions made to the state of North Carolina.

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