Elliott Woods


Elliott Woods is a veteran, journalist, and photographer. He is the writer and host of Third Squad: After Afghanistan, winner of a 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award. His other honors include an Overseas Press Club Award, a National Magazine Award, and a Chairman’s Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. A contributing editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review and a correspondent at Outside, Woods divides his time between Austin, Texas, and Livingston, Montana.



10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Capitol Park Museum, First Floor Auditorium
We Are the Stories We Tell: Celebrating 10 Years of Narrative 4
with Darrell Bourque, Ru Freeman, Colum McCann, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Elliott Woods, and moderator Felice Belle

Noon to 12:45 p.m.
State Library, First Floor Seminar Center
What We Talk About When We Talk About Conflict: The Global Impact of State-Sponsored Violence
with Colum McCann, and Elliott Woods, with moderator Ru Freeman

Podcast: Third Squad: After Afganistan

In 2011, veteran and journalist Elliott Woods went on a military embed in one of the most dangerous places in the world: Sangin, Afghanistan. that’s where he met the 12 marines of third squad. only 11 would make it home alive.

Ten years later—on the eve of America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan—Elliott embarks on a cross-country road trip to find the surviving members of Third Squad. Weaving together original audio from Sangin and new conversations with the Marine veterans, Third Squad moves from the horrors of battle to the living rooms of America, telling the story of how the “forever war” endures back home.

Third Squad is also the story of Corporal Michael Joseph Dutcher, who was killed just two weeks before the squad was supposed to return to the States. Dutcher, who was 22 when he died, had plans to get out of the Marine Corps and go to college to become a teacher like his mother. The final stop on Elliott’s journey is Asheville, North Carolina, where he visits Dutcher’s family—to learn about his life, and about how losing him has upended the lives of the people who loved him.


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