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Hear stories from a scout sniper, others at Voices: Veterans tonight
Event planned at The Loft at Scott's Downtown
Andrew Pedry - photo by SAVANNAH KING

Voices: Veterans

What: Authentic stories told by the people who lived them
When: 6 p.m. Nov. 5, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Scott’s on the Square, 131 Bradford St. NW, Gainesville
How much: $5; tickets available at
More info:
The Times Facebook event page, 770-718-3417 or  

It takes a special kind of person to be a scout sniper in the U.S. Marines. Andrew Pedry is that special.

The teacher at Riverside Military Academy speaks candidly about his role in the war in Iraq.

“The job of any service member in a war is to kill the enemy, but as a sniper you are very deliberately picking someone and killing them,” he said. “Your responsibility is to make sure that every time that trigger is pulled, whether it’s by you or your partner, you know that you’re going to sleep well at night because that’s what had to happen and there was no other option.”

Pedry served in the war in Iraq, including during the invasion in 2003, where he was inside an armored personnel carrier.

“You don’t know what’s about to happen,” he said. “You know Iraq has one of the largest militaries in the world. You know we’re going to win. There’s no question about that. What you don’t know is how hard they’re going to fight.”

Pedry said he feels people may be more willing to listen to a veteran’s story today than in some generations past; they’re more apt to separate their political views from an individual’s choice to protect his or her country.

The Times is presenting an event Nov. 5 to allow Pedry and three other veterans to share their stories.

Aaron McKeithan served in Afghanistan and has a passion for helping military members transition to civilian life. Gabe Shippy was stationed in South Korea, where he gained perspective about how those in other parts of the world view the U.S. The Rev. Evelyn Johnson has an appreciation for veterans, informed by her experience as a medic in the Vietnam War.

They will each share their story beginning at 6 p.m. at The Loft at Scott’s Downtown. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and a cash bar is available. Tickets are $5 and available online at

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