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War Veteran, Correspondent to Speak at CCCCD Nov. 8


Oct. 28, 2004 - Mark Graunke, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Jim Landers, Washington, D.C., correspondent for The Dallas Morning News, will discuss the Iraq war with faculty, staff and students at Collin County Community College District (CCCCD). Their presentation, "Fact Check Iraq: Writing Home the Reality of War," will take place from 10 - 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 8 in the conference center, room AA135, at Spring Creek Campus, 2800 East Spring Creek Parkway in Plano. It will be followed by a question-answer session from 11-11:30 a.m. This CCCCD presentation is free and open to the public.

Retired Staff Sergeant Mark Graunke will offer his view of the Iraq war from the perspective of a Marine who fought there. He was deployed in early 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In July 2003, he was severely injured in the line of duty.

S.Sgt. Graunke’s military decorations include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a Combat “V”, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment, Overseas Service, Marine Security Guard Ribbon, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. He was medically retired in August 2004.

Correspondent Jim Landers began his career with The Washington Post, was a featured editor for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia, then joined The Dallas Morning News in 1981, becoming their expert on Middle-Eastern affairs. During the recent war with Iraq, he volunteered to be embedded with the Marines 2nd Tank Battalion. Landers was one of 11 writers for the "Violence Against Women: A Question of Human Rights" series, which won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

Landers is “one of the country’s most accomplished and admired reporters on foreign affairs,” according to Stuart Wilk, former editor with The Dallas Morning News. “As a war correspondent in Iraq, he displayed guts and grit, but also sophistication and scholarship. Whatever the topic, Jim writes with authority, candor and compassion. He is a journalist’s journalist.”

For more information, contact Regina Hughes at or 972.548.6739.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.