On September 10, 2020, the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted Iraq War veteran Teresa Fazio in discussion about her forthcoming book Fidelis: A Memoir. The event was held as a CNAS webinar in conjunction with Bronx River Books.
Acclaimed author Matt Gallagher interviewed Fazio about her coming of age story of joining the Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq, and coping with homecoming through writing. Gallagher is author of Empire City, Youngblood, and Kaboom and teaches Words After War at NYU. Fazio's writing has been published in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy, Washington Post, and The Nation, as well as the anthologies Retire the Colors, The Road Ahead, and It’s My Country, Too.
More about Fidelis: A Memoir: In 1998, Teresa Fazio signed up for the Marine Corps’ ROTC program to pay her way through MIT. After the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, leading to the War on Terror, she graduated with a physics degree into a very different world, owing the Marines four years of active duty. At twenty-three years old and five foot one, Fazio was the youngest and smallest officer in her battalion; the combined effect of her short hair, glasses, and baggy camo was less Hurt Locker than Harry Potter Goes to War. She cut an incongruous figure commanding more experienced troops in an active war zone, where vulnerability was not only taboo but potentially lethal. In this coming-of-age story set in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fazio struggles with her past, her sense of authority, and her womanhood. Anger stifles her fear and uncertainty. A forbidden affair placates her need for love and security. But emptiness, guilt, and nightmares plague Fazio through her deployment—and follow her back home.