If you’re looking to give genuine support to military veterans this Veterans Day, consider stopping by the Rainier Arts Center. From 3:00 to 5:00 pm this Sunday, an “Open Mic/Town Hall” will be held there to encourage vets to share their experiences both in and out of the military.
Event coordinator Jeb Wyman, an English teacher at Seattle Central, recently edited and compiled a collection of the writings and words of 18 US military veterans entitled What They Signed Up For. This event is a continuation of the work done in the book; as Wyman says, “going to war changes an individual, puts a burden on the heart and soul. Being able to share one’s experiences with others who will “help carry the burden” is exceptionally important to healing. Several slated speakers at the event were in fact contributors to the anthology themselves.
“People need to understand what the decision to go to war means“
“We’re very isolated from the impact of war on people,” Wyman adds. “What should be done on Veterans Day is for civilians to come and listen to vets tell their own stories,” to share the burden of what these vets have gone through but also “to understand what it means when our country goes to war. … To see how it impacts our own fellow citizens and foreign citizens in war zones” in often harsh and uncomfortable ways. He continues speaking of the smoke screen placed over the nature of war, saying “they don’t even call them civilian casualties now, you know? They call them collateral damage, like they’re not even people. It’s the people on the ground overseas, civilians and military, that actually have to deal with that death and destruction. … People need to understand what the decision to go to war means.”
Entrance to the open mic is free, but seats can be reserved online here or by calling the Rainier Arts Center’s office at (425)-584-8387. Their address is at 3515 S Alaska St, Seattle WA, which is a 5-6 block walk from the Columbia City light rail station. Sunday, November 11, 3:00-5:00pm. Light refreshments are provided, and the event is wheelchair accessible.