Editors at the Chicago-based on-line literary journal "Line of Advance" recently named six finalists in the 4th Annual Col. Darron L. Wright awards. Underwritten by the Blake and Bailey Foundation, the awards commemorate a U.S. Army leader who was killed in a September 2013 parachute training accident.
In the announcement, editors wrote: "[All of this year's submissions exhibited] care and effort and honesty. We received many prose submissions. Some were from regular contributors and some from new voices. The same goes for the poetry submissions."
In addition to Brown's third-place poem, other poetry recognized included:
- First Place: "How Could You Do That" by Eric Chandler
- Second Place: "Good Soldier" by Sarah Maples
- Third Place: "Robert Olen Butler wants nachos by Randy Brown
Prose recognitions—a combined category comprising fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid forms—included:
- First Place: "A Jeep to Quang Tri" by William Upton
- Second Place: "American Spirit" by Bruce Kerg
- Third Place: "Talisman" by Travis Klempan
Now in its fourth year, the writing contest is named after U.S. Army Col. Darron L. Wright. The contest is regarded by many as one of three proven, top-quality recurring competitions involving writing by military service members, veterans, families and others. In addition to other assignments, Wright served as battalion operations officer for 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., with whom he deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004.
Wright was next assigned as brigade executive officer with 4th Brigade, 4th Inf. Div., Fort Hood, Texas, with whom he deployed to Iraq from 2005 to 2006. He commanded the 1st Battalion, 509th Parachute Inf. Reg. at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La. in 2007. From 2009 to 2013, Wright was assigned as deputy brigade commander for the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Inf. Div., with whom he deployed to Iraq from 2009 to 2010.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, Wright authored "Iraq Full Circle: From Shock and Awe to the Last Combat Patrol in Baghdad and Beyond." in 2012.
Wright's full biography appears here.
"Darron L. Wright was a larger than life Soldier’s Soldier. He was a physically imposing, direct, and skilled warrior," the Line of Advance editors wrote when the award was first launched.
He was also witty, hilarious, generous, kind, and wholly consumed with love for his family. He will certainly be missed but he will never be forgotten. His intellectual curiosity, boundless optimism, and untiring work ethic, allowed him to reach heights he could only dream of as a young boy growing up in Mesquite, Texas. It is in this spirit that the Darron L. Wright Award was created, to inspire fellow military writers and poets to aspire to become better and more accomplished at their craft and at telling their story.
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