'Veterans' Voices' Offers Chance for Veterans to Talk About Their Military Experiences, Nov. 10
"Veterans' Voices," a University of Baltimore community-wide discussion featuring veterans sharing their many and varied experiences in the military, will be hosted by The Bob Parsons Veterans Center, Spotlight UB and the Maryland Humanities Council on Monday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in UB's Wright Theater. The event is part of the University's Salute Our Troops Week, Nov. 10-14, a series of occasions honoring military and veteran students. The Wright Theater is located in the UB Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. "Veterans' Voices" is free and open to the public; an R.S.V.P. is required (see below).
"Veterans' Voices" will be previewed with a radio segment on the Maryland Humanities Council's Humanities Connection program on 88.1 WYPR on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 5:45 p.m. During this segment, entitled "Soldier Stories," Lisa M. Van Wormer, an Iraq War veteran and a student in the University's M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program, and Joseph Wood, UB provost, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, professor of history and public affairs and a Vietnam veteran, will offer perspectives on their military experiences, separated by nearly 40 years of change in gender equality in the military.
On Nov. 10, "Veterans' Voices" will open with veterans reading selected works—some self-written—exploring soldiers' experiences. From Korean War to Iraq War veterans, both fiction and non-fiction literary works provide insights into the lives of those in the nation's armed forces, including diversity in the military, the experience of war, and the return to civilian life. Following these readings, audience members will engage in facilitated and meaningful discussion about veterans' issues. "Veterans' Voices" provides a unique opportunity for both civilians and service men and women to explore more deeply the topics and issues surrounding the veteran experience.
The partnership brings together three entities with particular strengths: The Bob Parsons Veterans Center's commitment to servicemen and servicewomen, Spotlight UB's high-quality performances and access to University of Baltimore students, and the Maryland Humanities Council’s mission to use the humanities to spur informed dialogue on critical issues.
All of the veterans featured in the program are connected to the University of Baltimore. They include lifelong Baltimore resident Ken Turner, a University of Baltimore employee who served with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for 22 years. Turner was deployed during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield and retired with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) in 2002. During his military service he was awarded two meritorious promotions, twice awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
Louis Diggs, B.A. '79, M.P.A. '82, joined the all-black Maryland National Guard (726th Transportation Truck Company of the 231st Transportation Truck Battalion) in 1950, served in the Korean War from 1950 until 1952 and remained in the U.S. Army until 1970. Upon retirement, Diggs served in Washington, D.C. public schools. Over the past 20 years he has been an avid historian and author, publishing several books on historic black communities in Baltimore County.
UB Provost Joseph Wood has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. He served in Vietnam as a combat engineer.
UB graduate student Lisa M. Van Wormer, an Iraq War veteran, has published memoir pieces in Baltimore Fishbowl and on WYPR's The Signal, and has had a collaborative poem published in Welter, the University of Baltimore literary journal, plus two pieces featured in Spotlight UB's Emerging Voices Project and in the Langsdale Library Basement Reading Series as part of National Library Week.
After the readings on Nov. 10, audience members will break into small groups for discussion. Conversations will be facilitated by Irvin Brown, interim coordinator for the Parsons Veterans Center, Fred Guy, director of UB's Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, Stephen Shirley, adviser to the UB Veterans Club, and Provost Wood.
To R.S.V.P. for the Nov. 10 "Veterans' Voices" event, go here.
Learn more about The Bob Parsons Veterans Center.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.