Patrick Smithwick: War's Over, Come Home

A Father's Search for His Son, Two-Tour Marine Veteran of the Iraq War
Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
191 Bank Street
Burlington, VT 05401

Please join us as we welcome author Patrick Smithwick to Phoenix Books Burlington for a discussion of his powerful new book, War's Over, Come Home: A Father's Search for His Son, Two-Tour Marine Veteran of the Iraq War.

"No one who cares about today’s veterans should miss this splendid book." —Henry Taylor, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and author of This Tilted World Is Where I Live: New and Selected Poems 1962–2020.

For soldiers and their families, wars never end. The memories come home, occasionally in triumph, but more often in unpredictable and debilitating ways barely visible to the larger public. Most accounts rightly focus on the soldier’s struggles. Compelling and revealing, Patrick Smithwick’s War’s Over, Come Home is a rare and intimate account from a family’s vantage point, an essential perspective often missed. Their transcontinental efforts to find Iraq war veteran Andrew Smithwick—son, brother and once a friend to many—are a disturbing and eloquent testament to the cascading impact of a single case of PTSD.

Smithwick, a gifted storyteller who has written an acclaimed trilogy about steeplechase racing, has noted elsewhere, “Not for a moment did I imagine that one day I’d be pulling blankets off the faces of homeless men in Seattle, San Diego, Santa Fe, New York, Baltimore, Orlando. Or tapping on their shoulders and asking, ‘Is that you, Andrew?’”

Despite its hopeless moments and recurring despair, War’s Over, Come Home is, at its heart, a love story about a family’s resilient and at times blind commitment to finding Andrew. The sightings, the close calls, his brief return home are inspiring, yet thus far confounding and fruitless. When does one stop looking?

War’s Over, Come Home will strike home with a wide range of readers from families similarly afflicted by PTSD to policy makers at the Pentagon, from family counselors to sociologists, and most of all to general readers curious about an otherwise invisible world.

Patrick Smithwick is the author of the acclaimed trilogy of memoirs, Racing My Father, Flying Change and Racing Time. He has won awards for newspaper features, short stories, and magazine pieces while working as a steeplechase jockey and exercise rider of Thoroughbred racehorses on East Coast tracks, and as a Chesapeake Bay waterman, newspaper reporter and English teacher.  Patrick holds a BA and an MLA from Johns Hopkins University, an MA from Hollins College, and an EfM (Education for Ministry) from the University of the South. The author met Ansley, his wife-to-be, forty-eight years ago at Hollins College.  Patrick and Ansley live on a farm in Monkton, Maryland, and are the parents of three children: Paddy, Andrew and Eliza.

DATE: Wednesday June 14th, 7:00pm

LOCATION: Phoenix Books Burlington, 191 Bank Street, downtown Burlington

TICKETS: $3. Your ticket comes with a coupon for $3 off any of the author's books. Coupons expire at closing the evening of the event. Tickets can be purchased at the registration link below, or at the door. 

BOOKS: Signed copies of War's Over, Come Home will be available at the event. Can't make it to the event but still want to purchase a signed, personalized copy? Click HERE. Copies will be available after the event on June 14th. If you ordered a book for store pick up, we will contact you as soon as it's ready. If you ordered a book with shipping, please allow an additional 7-10 days for delivery.