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Waging Peace with Diana Oestreich

interviews Aug 08, 2021

After being deployed to Iraq immediately following the 9/11 attacks, Diana Oestreich faced the horrors of war and some of the most difficult moral decisions anyone could possibly imagine. Sharon is joined by Diana, who is a bestselling author, former combat medic and fellow-Minnesotan. After Diana was shown a heartwarming act of kindness and trust by an Iraqi woman, her life was changed forever. Her new mission became: to bring humanity to an inhumane war. Upon returning home, Diana continued her mission of unconditional love and self-sacrifice in her own community. Diana and Sharon discuss the importance of loving and showing up for all people in-need regardless of their lifestyle, religion, political standing or race. In this moving and heartfelt episode, Sharon and Diana uncover exactly how we can grow into fiercely kind and unshakably good humans. 


Link to Full Episode:


This Episode Will Teach You:

  • What Diana Oestreich experienced in Iraq as a combat medic and how it led her to write Waging Peace
  • How an experience with an Iraqi woman changed Diana’s life 
  • Why Diana decided to never choose violence in the midst of war
  • How Diana applied what she learned during war in her own Minnesotan community 
  • Why Diana takes her kids to community vigils
  • The importance of stepping out of security 
  • Why you do not have to agree with someone in order to help them 
  • Fierce kindness, unshakeable goodness and dangerous hope


3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • Diana Oestreich shares her experiences and the horrors she faced as a combat medic in Iraq immediately following the 9/11 attacks. One day, Diana encountered an Iraqi woman who showed her immense kindness and radical trust. The Iraqi woman’s actions changed Diana’s life and shattered many of her long-standing beliefs. Diana decided at that moment that she would sacrifice her life for anyone - American or not - and made it her mission to bring humanity to an inhuman war. 
  • Upon returning to Minnesota, Diana continued her mission to love her neighbor without conditions. She took her kids to community vigils and showed up for anyone in the community that needed help. Sharon and Diana discuss the importance of being there for others even if you do not agree with them or look like them. As well, they explain how to have productive conversations with people who have different beliefs and remind listeners that all people have the potential to be fiercely kind and unshakably good. 
  • Lastly, Diana and Sharon discuss the importance of stepping out of our close circles and decreasing our appetite for belonging. Diana shares that when she did this, she was able to stand up for justice without being afraid of judgement or backlash. As well, Diana explains how she has found freedom and grown as a person once she started to show up for all people no matter what they look like, what lifestyle they live or what ideologies they believe.  


About the Guest:

Diana Oestreich is an activist, peacemaker and author of “Waging Peace”. Waging Peace recounts Diana’s experiences as a combat medic stationed in Iraq and why Diana chose to wage peace instead of war. She also leads the Waging Peace Project, a program committed to acts of courage for the sake of justice. Currently, Diana, her partner Jake and their two sons live along the shores of Lake Superior. They are an Ethiopian-American family woven together through adoption and a shared love for bad jokes and competitive card games.


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