Today I attended a Veterans Day Ceremony at O’Neill Hall, Fitchburg Armory, Fitchburg, MA. Last evening I listened to Colon Powell speak about post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, at the Nation’s Capitol Veterans Day Honoring Ceremony. I am a Vietnam War Veteran’s widow. My husband died in 2010 of cancer. He was never treated for Agent Orange. I felt powerless to help him. I wish I could have. He never talked about symptoms. I knew that something was wrong. I took many steps in trying to get him help that he denied he needed.
While there, I networked with a veteran from the Gulf War years. I met the Honorable Lisa Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg. I congratulated her for her vision and appreciation and approving a multi-cultural art exhibit on Main Street. It is a positive step in promoting and celebrating urbanization, art and the citizens and youth in Fitchburg.
I learned about the Veterans Writing Project today on NPR. Then I looked up the site on the Internet. I just joined the group. I am a published author and have a publishing company and active blogs for writers. I am going to explore if I can raise some interest in a Veterans Writing Group in Fitchburg. First I have to learn from the Veterans Writing Project and hope to work through them.
Tomorrow I am going to visit the Veterans Office in Fitchburg and start to explore the posible opportunity with them. I know I could help in this area seeing as I have published two children’s books. I am presently writing a Field Guide for Butterflies.
If you are a Veteran, please let me know if you would like to participate by telling your story through training with the Veterans Writing Group. I have a Blog so your work could reach out to the public. If there were enough veterans, perhaps in time this could lead to a book of your stories. People could better understand their role with veterans if they only knew your story. I never heard my husband’s story, outside of the eight friends that were blown up with him when they were walking down a path or road in Vietnam. My husband Willard H. DeJong was the only survivor. He would never talk about this or any other aspect of his war experience. I knew that he was holding it all inside and I simply couldn’t reach this depth.
I hope I can make a difference with another veteran or veterans. I would consider it a healing experience to be blessed in this way.