If you’re a veteran struggling with your memories of war atrocities, there’s substantial evidence that it benefits you to write about your recollections. Even if you served but were not at war, perhaps you witnessed some disturbing events. The Veterans Writing Project wants you to write your story and will help you do that with free workshops and seminars. There’s no charge to you, because the organization is a non-profit and receives funding. Are you a family member of someone who has served? Then you, too, qualify to take the free writing training. The website says:
“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.”
The New York Times recently did a story about the growing popularity among veterans to write their memoirs and the increasing number of organizations available to help them. More on that next time.