Free

Rutland County Veterans Town Hall 2019 (Rutland)

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Rutland Free Library

10 Court Street

Rutland, VT 05701

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Veterans are invited to speak, unscripted, about what their service means to them, and the whole community is encouraged to attend, to listen, and to learn. This event, inspired by author Sebastian Junger, aims to establish a greater understanding between local veterans and the friends and neighbors they fought for.

In the tradition of warrior storytelling, veterans are invited to describe the pride, grief, rage, or quiet appreciation of life that the war bestowed upon them - to share a story, summary of service, message, letter home, excerpt from a war journal, or even the story behind a photograph.

This event is non-political. There will be no debate on the merits or justifications of war, no recriminations or accusations. This is simply a chance for veterans to tell their community what it felt like to go to war. All perspectives are valued and important.

For speakers:
The idea behind a Veterans Town Hall is to give vets of all wars a chance to address their community directly and without intermediaries. Junger suggests that the focus should be the emotional experience of the war, whatever that may mean for each particular person. We ask that speakers focus on their own individual experiences, reflections, and insights (rather than speaking on behalf of others or an organization).

Each veteran will be given up to 10 minutes to speak. Our goal is for every veteran who would like to speak to have a chance to. Veterans who would like to speak can mark that preference when registering here on eventbrite.

For attendees:
All community members are invited to attend. Only veterans will speak, but non-veterans are encouraged to attend, to listen, and to learn.

Throughout the event, you may hear something you agree or disagree with. You may have a question. Or you may want to say encouraging words with the intention to help. However, we ask that you please refrain from responding.

Parents: Your children are welcome to attend with you, but when deciding whether or not to bring them, please be aware that speakers will address serious topics and that this is not a rehearsed event.

For organizations:
This year, there won't be any tabling at the event, in order to make sure the focus is clearly on the speakers and the experiences being shared. Of course, it's important to share information about resources as well, so there will be a table with literature from various organizations. Please don't hesitate to bring some fliers for this table. Representatives from Veterans Service Organizations are also welcome to bring business cards and share those; there's generally some socializing before/after the event. If your organization has representatives who are veterans, they are welcome to speak - but we ask that they speak as individuals, not on behalf of the organization.

Does my eventbrite registration guarantee a seat? Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Seating is first come, first served. RSVPs are encouraged, and help us plan for this event, but do not guarantee a seat, though we do expect to have room for everyone. Since this event is unticketed, there is no need to print a ticket.

How can I contact the organizer and/or learn more about these events?
Please email kyle.aines@ccv.edu with any questions. There's also more information at at www.vtvetstownhall.org

Thank you to:
Kyle Aines, for hosting the event.
Community College of Vermont for sponsoring the event. (Photos courtesy of Thomas Shahan, Community College of Vermont.)
Cabot Creamery Co-operative for donating snacks.
The many individuals and organizations who have offered advice, feedback, and support.

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Rutland Free Library

10 Court Street

Rutland, VT 05701

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