Talking Service is a national reading and discussion program that supports veterans in their transition from military to civilian life. Moderated by a skilled facilitator, each discussion uses powerful selections from our anthology Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian to help participants share their experiences, concerns, andideas. The program is open to men and women of all ages who have served in the armed forces, as well as their families and friends.
We’re honored to be partnering with the New York Council for the Humanities to expand these discussions, and in April 2014 the program was awarded a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support Talking Service programs nationwide. Thanks to this generous grant, state humanities councils across the country can now easily administer the program at a series of host sites around their state. The funding has also made it possible to provide all host sites with the necessary copies of Standing Down, for group discussions. Humanities councils in the following ten states are now participating: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
John Morris, a Talking Service discussion leader from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, explained the program’s impact by sharing an observation about a participant—“The second night, I saw a man come in who wouldn’t look me in the eye. At the beginning, he stuttered getting every word out. He was slouched over the table,” said Morris. “By the end of the night he was sitting up tall in his chair and had a smile on his face. As we walked out of the library, he hugged me and said how good it felt to finally tell his story.”
We invite you to help give our men and women who have served the confidence and support they need to tell their stories! By signing up as a host site or volunteering to lead a discussion group, you are joining John Morris and others like him in this nationwide effort to ease veterans’ tough transitions back into civilian life. Please contact Don Whitfield at 312.646.7138 for information.