Warrior Voices Veterans: learn to write the words they could not speak.(Update)

| February 2, 2013

This was going to be just about the this story that was re-posted by the American Legions Facebook, but since Casey Porter’s Movie “Present Day” is being debuted today I wanted to include this as well.

The first one is about finding a better way to treat PTSD and other issues that happen after returning from deployments. Ron Capps is trying using writing as a way to help Veterans deal and overcome these issues. The idea come from writing about his own experiences with when he wrote a article in 2009 called;Back From The Brink: War, Suicide, And PTSD. Now he has helped form a outlet for Veterans to write in the same way that he did in 2009. It is called the Veterans Writing Project.

At The Veterans Writing Project we believe that every veteran has a story. We know that some of us need a little help telling that story. So we provide no-cost writing seminars and workshops for veterans, active and reserve service members, and military family members. We publish a quarterly literary review, a podcast and an ongoing scroll of writing by our friends on our sister site, O-Dark-Thirty. Soon, we’ll begin publishing books through our publishing branch, BCG Books.

We approach our work with three goals in mind. The first is literary. We believe there is a new wave of great literature coming and that much of that will be written by veterans and their families. The next is social. We have in the United States right now the smallest ever proportion of our population in service during a time of war. Less than 1% of Americans have taken part in these most recent wars. Our WWII veterans are dying off at a rate of nearly 1000 per day. We want to put as many of these stories in front of as many readers as we can. Finally, writing is therapeutic. Returning warriors have known for centuries the healing power of narrative. We give veterans the skills they need to capture their stories and do so in an environment of mutual trust and respect.

Also this is helpful in dealing with integration after returning home.

Ms. Hoit received critiques from other veterans; she trusted their reactions. She had recently graduated from the University at Albany, where she studied journalism. She was no stranger to sharing her writing, but had found civilian classrooms awkward and frustrating. She had felt judged for her subject matter.

Even now, as a student in Johns Hopkins’s M.F.A. program, she finds herself battling stereotypes. After one reading, a classmate asked her, “Why would anyone join the military if they didn’t want to kill someone?” She is angry about the “media-shaped” portrayal of the wars and feels a responsibility to “reshape that picture and ground it into truth.”

“It’s like people think the only people who join the military are poor or lesbians,” she says.

Several other writing websites were listed in the article to include Army of Dude who comments here from time to time.

Also today Casey Porter has been working with the Moonlight Fund group to produce the movie “Present Day” that opened in the Boerne Community Theater.

In closing I think that there any many stories that exist that need to be heard but are not. This because they do not fit into what Society has imaged was serving in the military is like. For this reason Veterans hesitant on telling people their experiences let along asking for help with the many issues that one can face due to the fear that one is going to be labeled as a Crazy Veteran. It does not help that the media keeps this stereotype alive and well.

Also it is important that you can help Veterans of all eras by simply showing that you care by simply asking;”How can I help you?”. It is as simple as that. There are many people that are listed above that could use your assistance right now.

Update:Casey Porter wanted to let everyone know that the video will put online on February 11th and the new trailer can be found here. Additional links are posted were you can follow the newest updates for this film.

Category: Link fest, Real Soldiers, Support the troops, Veterans Issues

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  1. streetsweeper says:

    Very well done, Spork. Hooah

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    Not speaking out after coming home by in-country Vietnam vets and Korean War vets is the reason no one understood/understands what those people go through. I looked at the VWP blog: they want everyone from all war periods participating, whether or not you think you have anything to say. I’m more interested in writing novels than the other categories, but I think anyone can benefit from these workshops.

  3. Joe Williams says:

    I,personally found writing to help,it is not a cureall at least for me. I do not think that there is a cure. Just does happen as often ie ghosts at the foot of the bed. Joe

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    @4 – That’s why people do journaling, Joe. I was doing research on the Regency period and found that there are many published journals or diaries by officers and troops from the Peninsular War, far more than I had expected. You can’t rely on Dostoevsky’s descriptions of the time in “War and Peace”, and the direct observations are from real people.

    No, it may not be a cure-all, but it is a release.

  5. Hondo says:

    Ex-PH2: Dostoevsky?

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    Frack!!!!! I meant Tolstoy. Whaddaya want from my life, big guy? I just finished the rough draft of one book and I’m halfway through two others. I’ve been up til 2AM some nights. I’m getting brain fry from trying to keep things straight. I’m going to start whining, too.

    But, for reference, this is something I found on the Peninsular War index:

    19 June 1815
    The following is Dr Hume’s account of his visit to the Duke the morning after the battle (19th of June, 1815).
    “I came back from the field of Waterloo with Sir Alexander Gordon, whose leg I was obliged to amputate on the field late in the evening. He died rather unexpectedly in my arms about half-past three in the morning of the 19th.

    I was hesitating about disturbing the Duke, when Sir Charles Broke-Vere came. He wished to take his orders about the movement of the troops. I went upstairs and tapped gently at the door, when he told me to come in. He had as usual taken off his clothes, but had not washed himself.

    As I entered, he sat up in bed, his face covered with the dust and sweat of the previous day, and extended his hand to me, which I took and held in mine, whilst I told him of Gordon’s death, and of such of the casualties as had come to my knowledge. He was much affected. I felt the tears dropping fast upon my hand, and looking towards him, saw them chasing one another in furrows over his dusty cheeks. He brushed them suddenly away with his left hand, and said to me in a voice tremulous with emotion, “Well, thank God, I don’t know what it is to lose a battle; but certainly nothing can be more painful than to gain one with the loss of so many of one’s friends.”

  7. Hondo says:

    Ex-PH2: just teasing a bit, lass. You don’t normally make such literary mistakes.

    We all have our brain cramps. And some, like ObamaGirl and Joe, walk around with their brain cramping 24/7/365.

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    I am a mere mortal.

    I did explore the VWP site, and I found that it offers a lot to vets of all wars. I hope that they will find it in themselves to make use of it.

  9. Here is the latest trailer. The film goes live Feb 11th.