Thursday, February 14, 2013

To Honor and Heal

   On Veterans Day, put out your flags, cheer the marchers at parades, and go to tributes. But when you wake up the next day, Nov. 12, remember that it’s still Veterans Day for our veterans — and it will be every day of their lives.    — Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
    I have never served our country, never kissed my family goodbye, wondering if I would see them again after months in a foreign land.  I have never missed the birth of my child or subsequent birthdays. I have never taken someone’s life in the name of our country or watched a friend pass in front of me. I will never understand these pains, this level of trauma or loss. 
    My father is a Vietnam Veteran, his father served before him in Korea. My other grandfather served in WWII. I am married to a Navy veteran. The military, in some manner, has always been part of my life. Despite these connections, I can honestly say I know very little about what it means to be a vet.  

    On February 23rd I will have the opportunity to hear The Warriors Arts Alliance present at our next Saturday Writers Meeting. The Warriors Arts Alliance is a veteran support organization encouraging the expression and healing of Missouri’s veterans and their families. Their anthology, "Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors" is a collection of short stories and poetry by men and women who served in our military.  
    This work, featuring veterans spanning several decades, is written from the heart and soul of men and women who have served our country proudly. Some stories are written and read as essays or newspaper articles, while others are written as deeply personal journal entries to which we have been given a private glimpse. Regardless of the format, the works are all poignant, raw, and very real.
    Deb Marshall, Director of Warriors Arts Alliance and former President of the Missouri Writers Guild, and a panel of anthology contributors to "Proud to Be..." will host this storytelling workshop with readings and discussions. Please join me on Saturday, February 23rd in supporting our veterans as they share their stories and help us to walk in their shoes for the shortest of times. 

Photo Credit: Warriors Arts Alliance


  1. I attended the meeting and was moved by the stories and poetry of some very talented veterans. It was quite surprising how many of my fellow writers in Saturday Writers are veterans. Many more are the child or spouse of a vet, like you are. We even have a veteran of the British Women's Army who lived through the blitz of London during WWII. I am humbled and appreciative.

  2. It was such an honor to have the many veterans with us on Saturday, both among the speaker panel and in the audience. My husband served for 10 years, yet I feel like this is a part of his life I know very little about. He carries so much internal baggage from this time, rarely revealing details. The Warrior Arts Alliance provides an outlet for so many vets experiencing a very personal battle. I am hopeful he will use this as a resource but only time will tell.