The Things He Left Behind

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: Meredith Doench


"The Things He Left Behind" is a short story cycle inspired by the consequences of war and the power of legacy. It follows a young soldier, Felix Rocha, through the eyes of the many friends, family, and strangers that he impacted throughout his short life. The character is based off of a real-life soldier, Felix Del Greco, who was the first Connecticut National Guardsman to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The incorporation of artifacts into the story is meant to mix fiction and reality; to present to the reader both the real Felix and the fictional Felix. As Tim O’Brien famously said, “story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.” This short story cycle is meant to make a lasting impact on the reader, leaving them with the question, “What are the things that I will leave behind?”


Literature, Personal Relationships, Military Studies, Military History, Families and Family Life, creative writing, war, iraq, operation iraqi freedom, connecticut, short story cycle, tim obrien, bruce springsteen, soldiers, national guard, family, friends, death, love, loss, military

Rights Statement

Copyright 2018, author