It’s another beautiful, sunny day here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. I’m spending the day at home, doing some much needed home tasks and trying to catch up on NaNoWriMo. Folks, it may take me into December to finish 50K words at this point. I’ve had to sacrifice writing time to participate in volunteering for our VFW and the groups we support. Believe me, it is worth it. The friends I’ve made and the stories I’ve heard, I’m truly blessed to be able to know these leaders and know their stories. Veterans Day is an important day. It’s when we thank our Veterans when we think of their sacrifices. This year it is important to let them know we’re behind them, we support them, and we will listen. They need that more than ever right now. The withdrawl from Afghanistan was a mess, to put it mildly. I’ll leave it at that.
Yesterday was an amazing experience. Liz Boutin, a local artist, is sharing her art work about PTSD with us for Veterans Day/Week. I was able to listen to her inspirations for the paintings, which was a gift. From her time as a Red Cross Volunteer while a military spouse in Germany, she was in the hospital where the wounded soldiers from Iraq were sent. Some stayed long enough for her to hear their stories. She was part of the worst things in these soldiers’ lives.
They would open up to her, preferring a civilian over a military doctor or shrink who would put the information in their records. She needed a way to release the burden she was carrying. Her own mental health was suffering. She started journaling about her experiences. Later, she discovered she had PTSD. Doing more research, she learned about how art is therapy for those with PTSD. Liz has poured her heart and soul into this art. And it is beautiful. Hard to see? Maybe a little. But for the depictions of what she’s seen and heard and experienced, it’s an experience that is well worth having. I believe she is gifted in the world of art, storytelling, and observations in her life. We’re so lucky she is sharing her art with us.
We also have many reps from the VA to discuss everything from registering you for benefits to letting you know what you can expect in the process. It’s a convenient way for you to get started. We will have representatives from Moving Veterans Forward, ABATE, 22 Veterans Suicide Awareness Group, and information available from Guitars for Vets, and the Centering Corporation, the oldest grief organization in America. I have learned so much from them over the past twenty years.
Come see us Thursday. Veterans eat free, and we have a bake sale by the Auxiliary, some merch from various vendors, and Liz Boutin’s art is for sale. Don’t forget about the food and clothing drive we are sponsoring for homeless Veterans. We want them to have warm clothing this winter. It’s the least we can do. Help them out. Learn something new from our information sharing day. We welcome you. Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!