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Sallah On Saigon

Miami Herald investigations editor Michael Sallah is going to be at Border's Books in Aventura tomorrow night talking about war. The Society of Professional Journalists is sponsoring the event and Sallah will be signing his book, Tiger Force, the literary version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning series he and Mitch Weiss (who also might be at the event) did for the Toledo Blade about a platoon that committed all kinds of war atrocities during the Vietnam War.

This one comes highly recommended by the Pulp; Sallah's a rare journalist diamond down here in the South Florida sand.

INFO ON EVENT: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7-8:15 p.m. Border’s Books 19925 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura (just north of Aventura Mall on the east side of Biscayne) Phone: 305-935-0027

Full press release and details after the jump.

From Saigon to Baghdad Reporting on the plight of returning U.S. veterans

Michael Sallah, the Miami Herald’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations editor, will speak about the impact of war on U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sallah will focus on how journalists can find and report significant stories about returning veterans’ problems and the emerging impact on American society, including health care, mental health, divorce, substance abuse, and crime.

Based on his extensive interviews with veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Sallah will compare the experiences of today’s returning veterans with those of the Vietnam veterans he reported on for his Pulitzer-winning 2004 series in the Toledo Blade on the infamous Tiger Force platoon.

The Tiger Force platoon reportedly killed hundreds of Vietnamese civilians in 1967 and committed numerous atrocities. No charges were ever filed against the participants or their commanding officers despite the longest U.S. war-crimes investigation of the Vietnam War. Some of those soldiers experienced severe mental health, substance abuse, and family problems upon their return.

Sallah has found that many returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan say they also participated in or witnessed atrocities or abuses and that this is having a serious, lingering impact on their lives. He will relate this to findings of military psychologists who have studied what they call “killology” – how people are trained to kill in war and how it affects them.

Sallah will sign copies of the newly released paperback version of his 2006 book, Tiger Force, which is based on his reporting for the Toledo Blade series.

Co-author and co-Pulitzer Prize recipient Mitch Weiss, now of the Charlotte Observer, may join Sallah for the presentation if he is in South Florida that week. Weiss just edited a series in the Observer on National Guardsmen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to find that they’d lost their jobs and homes.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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