Tuesday, November 2, 2010

U.S. Marine Studying at Washington College to Share His Experiences in Afghanistan

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington College junior James Schelberg (above, far left), a U.S. Marine veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will recount some of his military experiences Wednesday, November 17 at 5:00 p.m. Schelberg’s talk, “War in Afghanistan: A Marine’s Experiences,” will take place in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center, on the Washington College campus, 300 Washington Avenue.

A native of Baltimore County, Schelberg enlisted in the Marine Reserve in 2005 and was shortly thereafter deployed to Iraq for a six-month combat tour. He served with the 4th U.S. Marine Division’s 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Haditha, Anbar Province.

Upon his return, Schelberg enrolled at Washington College with the support of a Hodson Trust Star Scholarship, a full scholarship offered to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. After his sophomore year, Schelberg’s unit was called back into service and he was deployed to Afghanistan for a seven-month combat tour in Helmand Province. Safely returned, he is now continuing his studies at Washington College, where he is a Student Associate at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

“This talk is an opportunity for the Washington College community to experience second-hand the realities faced by the people of Afghanistan,” said Schelberg. “The war in Afghanistan often seems far-removed from our daily life here at Washington College, but its effects are truly global.”

Schelberg’s talk will offer a boots-on-the-ground perspective on the war-torn nation and its people, sharing his own memories of hope, progress and tragedy.

A double major in humanities and philosophy, Schelberg was heavily involved in one of the Starr Center’s most exciting recent projects. His 2008 discovery of a treasure trove of family letters at the Poplar Grove estate in Queen Anne’s County led to a ground-breaking partnership between the College and the Maryland State Archives, and a summer internship at the Archives for Schelberg himself.

In 2009, Schelberg received a Comegys Bight Fellowship from the Starr Center to study the writings of 18th-century American evangelist Jonathan Edwards under the mentorship of Professor Peter Weigel of the Department of Philosophy & Religion. His fellowship experience included a research trip to Oxford University, where he will return this coming summer as a participant in the inaugural Washington College Oxford Summer Experience.

Sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, “War in Afghanistan: A Marine’s Experiences” is free and open to the public.

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About the C.V. Starr Center

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores our nation’s history – and particularly the legacy of its Founding era – in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown’s colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

Photograph: James Schelberg, far left, poses with members of his platoon.