The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded Humanities Texas a $99,959 Dialogues on the Experience of War grant for the continuation of our Veterans' Voices reading and discussion program.
Veterans' Voices brings veterans, military families, and members of the public together to read aloud from classical and contemporary literary texts about war, military service, and the return to civilian life. After the readings, experienced discussion leaders facilitate conversations, exploring how the texts relate to the participants' experiences and allowing for meaningful reflection on combat and civic responsibility.
Veterans' Voices offers participants the opportunity to better understand their individual and shared experiences by engaging with the humanities in a collaborative setting. Veterans' Voices co-founder and former Army Ranger John M. Meyer says, "Within a short time, the circle of strangers transforms into a community, one where individual members truly learn from one another. Our community-building program helps mitigate the alienation that veterans often feel when returning from war, acknowledges the uneven distribution of experiences of war and, yet, still pulls people together to help understand the universals of the human condition."
Humanities Texas received a Dialogues grant from NEH in 2017 to expand Veterans' Voices to five Texas cities: Austin, College Station, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio. This new series—which will take place in College Station, Denton, and El Paso over the 2020–2021 academic year—will allow us to continue supporting veterans and military families in Texas as well as refine the program in ways that result in richer and deeper participant engagement.
In recognition of the importance of the humanities both in helping Americans understand the experiences of service members and in assisting veterans as they return to civilian life, NEH offers the Dialogues grant program as part of its larger Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War initiative. More information is available online at www.neh.gov.