Willimantic - posted Nov, 02 2012
WILLIMANTIC- U.S. Marine Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, will speak at 7 p. m. on Nov. 15 in the Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium at Eastern Connecticut State University. Bogdanos is the second speaker in Eastern’s 2012-13 Arts and Lecture Series. The event is free of charge. While seating is free of charge, please reserve your seat by calling 860-465-0036 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A U. S. Marine, former New York City homicide prosecutor and classics scholar, Bogdanos has been referred to by the Times as “The Stolen Treasure Hunter” after leading the investigation into the looting of Iraq’s National Museum. While in Iraq, he exposed the link between antiquities trafficking and terrorist financing, and presented those findings to the United Nations, Interpol, British Parliament, and the Peace Palace in The Hague. Bogdanos received a National Humanities Medal from President Bush for recovering more than 6,000 of Iraq’s treasures in eight countries. After earning his classics degree from Bucknell University; law degree and master’s in classics from Columbia University; and a master’s in strategic studies from the Army War College, Bogdanos left active duty in 1988 to join the New York County District Attorney's Office where tabloids call him “pit bull" for his relentless pursuit of criminals. Remaining in the Marine Corps Reserves in the 1990s, Bogdanos led a counter-narcotics operation on the Mexican border. After losing his apartment near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Bogdanos joined a counter-terrorism task force in Afghanistan, where he received a Bronze Star for actions against al-Qaeda. He then served in the Horn of Africa and three tours in Iraq. Bogdanos still boxes for charity and continues the hunt for stolen antiquities. All royalties from his book, “Thieves of Baghdad,” are donated to the Iraq Museum.