Writing Programs for Veterans to Help Cope With Trauma
For veterans in the Fayetteville, North Carolina area, a new program has sprouted up to assist veterans in working through any trauma they have been through. After 30 years in the Air Force, Jerry Bradley retired as a chief master sergeant. Writing has helped him cope with the scars of battle and he hopes that he can pass this on to others.
“Writing Can Help” is a program that is open to veterans, their spouses, battlefield contractors, first responders and nearly anyone else who has experienced mental or physical trauma. It is scheduled to meet the first and third Saturdays of each month at the Fayetteville Technical Community College. The structure is that the first meeting is for critiques and the second meeting each month is for workshops.
This program is not necessarily intended for serious writers but instead for those hoping to cope with their trauma. Sharing your writing is not a requirement to participate. “The goal here is to help you work through those things,” Bradley said. “It’s not for self-promotion. We’re not intimidating. It’s others sharing. It’s healing.”
For the More Advanced Writer
The Writers Guild Foundation out of Los Angeles pairs veterans who have a knack for writing with a group of film and television writers. The program starts with a weekend-long retreat and then weekly meetings at the WGF headquarters over ten weeks. The program has already passed for this year, but the next retreat will happen in next April or May.
All military veterans and active duty service members are welcome. The program is free of charge, though those traveling from outside the Los Angeles area responsible for their own ground transportation and lodging. Unlike the program in Fayetteville, this is geared more towards those with a sincere passion for writing. Preference is given to those who have had less access to writing guidance. Veterans are not allowed to attend the workshop a second time, opening up opportunities for new participants each year.