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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA alum publishes book on Iraq war

Luke Larson, a UA alumnus, released his first novel, “”Senator’s Son: An Iraq War Novel”” about his experiences as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.

Larson, 28, attended the UA on a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarship. He graduated with honors and was awarded the captain hardest Mameluke sword, which is given to the top Marine graduate in the UA’s NROTC program. He majored in journalism before heading into the Marine Corps for four years.

He served two tours of duty in Iraq during his time in the Marines. His first tour, he said, was very kinetic and involved a lot of fighting.

“”I wanted to put it down on paper so other military officers could hopefully learn from those experiences and not make the same mistakes that we did,”” Larson said.

Larson spent four months writing the first draft of his historical fiction novel and spent two years revising and editing it before getting it published.

“”I really enjoy writing, I always wrote, and that’s what kind of led me to write the book,”” he said.

Though the book is categorized as fiction, it’s an accurate account of his experiences in Iraq, all based on true stories.

“”When I was in Iraq, I kept a diary, and I also wrote a lot of letters home, so I just used the letters and diary as kind of a reference,”” he said.

He chose to write a section of his book about Pearl Harbor, as a direct tie-in to the UA.

“”When I was going to school, they built the Student Union (Memorial Center), and while I was still there, it was dedicated to the U.S.S. Arizona,”” Larson said. “”At the time, I didn’t necessarily appreciate the historical significance of it all, and now that I’ve served I definitely appreciate the significance of Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona.””

Larson said there is some concern when you’re writing about things, such as military experience, that could be controversial.

“”When you write in fiction you can kind of tell it like it is and not have to worry about some of the repercussions (you would) if you were to write a non-fiction story,”” he said.

Larson said he feels his story is a lot more real in some ways because he was able to speak frankly through fiction.

“”You can tell a very realistic story where you’re using people’s emotions and thoughts, and you can’t really do that in non-fiction,”” he said.

Larson said he might have another novel in the works, which would likely be another work of historical fiction.

“”I am possibly writing another book. I’m not at liberty to talk about what it’s about, but I’m definitely interested in writing more books,”” he said.

Larson grew up in Washington and attended high school there before coming to the UA. After his two military tours, he now lives in Glendale, Ariz. He is currently part of the MBA program at Thunderbird International, an international business school.

“”I have an interest in … politics and foreign affairs,”” he said. “”So I’d be interested in international emerging markets and emerging technologies.””

While attending the UA, Larson worked at the Arizona Daily Wildcat as a sales representative and then the sales manager. He said he really enjoyed working there.

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