In the one-man play he's written about his experience as a gay Marine serving in Iraq, Jeff Key explains he couldn't reconcile the reasons he had joined the military with the justification for what he came to believe was an immoral war.
Key's one-man play "The Eyes of Babylon" is opening this week in Salt Lake City. He'll join us to talk about it on Utah NOW.
Click below to learn more about Jeff Key, his play "The Eyes of Babylon," or the documentary "Semper Fi: One Marine's Journey."
Jeff Key is a writer, actor, activist and philanthropist
based in Hollywood, California. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre from
the University of Alabama.
In 2000, at the age of 34, he went to Marine Corps boot camp and became a reserve marine. After the terror attacks of 2001, his unit made preparations for activation and in March, 2003, deployed to Eastern Iraq. Two months later, Jeff was flown back to the United States for surgery and because of his concerns about the things he had observed and because of his growing convictions that the coalition's tactics were ineffective in thwarting terrorism; he decided to leave the military.
Jeff kept a journal while in Iraq which he developed into the award winning and critically acclaimed one man performance piece, The Eyes of Babylon. The play was his way of speaking out about a war that he had come to believe was immoral and illegal. Determined to keep true to the reasons he joined the Marines, he established The Mehadi Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to help the veterans of this war, specifically those who attempt to self-medicate PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) with drugs and alcohol. Jeff is nine years clean and sober and has worked with hundreds of other alcoholics helping them (and him) stay sober.
The Mehadi Foundation (named for a young Iraqi boy Jeff met while there) also supports philanthropic efforts in Iraq to help rebuild homes and schools and provide clean water and healthy food to the Iraqi civilians.
Jeff now travels often speaking to high schools, businesses, colleges and universities, peace groups and churches on effective non-violent conflict resolution and continues to perform The Eyes of Babylon nationally and, since theatres in London and Jerusalem now want to bring the play...soon internationally as well. Jeff Key is the subject of a Showtime documentary entitled Semper Fi: One Marine's Journey that will air on that network in June 2007.
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