Typewriter Writing My Way Back Home
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July Events


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"Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter."
--Homer, The Iliad

The tradition of writing about war dates as far back as Homer and The Iliad and continues with men and women returning from war today. In fact, writing about war experiences can be a powerful healing tool for veterans. In March 2015, RezVets of Leawood hosted a "Writing My Way Back Home" workshop with the support of a KHC The Things They Carried Home grant. The essays and personal artifacts from the three-day workshop are now part of two exhibitions in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties.

Over thirty writers participated in the writing workshop. Most were veterans whose service ranged from tours in Vietnam to Afghanistan. Some were civilians whose lives had been touched by war, including a woman who witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor as a child in Hawaii. Some were family members, like the mother whose Marine son has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times. Professional writers facilitated the "community write-in," helping participants spark their creative process through explorations of poetry, point of view, characterization, description, and more. A preservation session prompted the writers to tell the stories behind military artifacts they "carried home."

"Writing My Way Back Home" exhibitions will be on display July 1 - July 31 at West Wyandotte Library in Kansas CIty and July 8 - 31 at Antioch Library in Merriam. The Things They Carried Home initiative is part of Standing Together, a National Endowment for the Humanities initiative to promote understanding of the military experience and to support returning veterans.
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Heritage Grants that explore veterans' experiences are available. Contact Murl Riedel, director of grants, for more information.