Through his reporting and writing, award winning journalist and author Kevin Sites seeks to portray the human side of war's inhumanity. By telling the stories of the people on every side and those caught in the crossfire, he hopes to provide a greater understanding of the true casualties of war. In THE THINGS THEY CANNOT SAY, Sites turns his ear and lens to war's combatants and asks the difficult questions about what they've seen, done, or failed to do in war. The answers, he finds, are not only difficult to hear, but also difficult for the soldiers to share. But it is through sharing, Sites explains, that society can help ease the burden of war for those we ask to fight it.
By compiling hours of past reportage and video footage, email correspondence, new phone conversations and interviews with soldiers, their family and friends, Sites tells the stories of twelve soldiers. Many of them he met and reported on while covering the War in Afghanistan and the War in Iraq. Others he sought out from different wars and different countries. He also shares his own story, of what he feels were his own short comings in war and what has haunted him upon his return to everyday life.
It is through speaking and writing about these events that Sites hopes to mitigate some of their effects, giving some meaning to the phantoms and nightmares soldiers carry, so that they serve more of a purpose than reminders of a pain too difficult to explain to those unwilling or unprepared to hear it.