Books for Veterans Program


Veterans Program

Book groups and related programs for Veterans.


Lizz Sinclair
Program Director
(207) 773-5051


Veterans Book Group

“Homer’s Odyssey offers a map for Soldiers coming home. A reading group provides the opportunity for Veterans to read the map.” -- Program participant

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We are offering several book groups to all Maine Veterans / Former Service Members over the course of 2017. Groups may focus on one longer text, like the Odyssey, or instead read selected short stories, novels, memoirs, historical texts, essays, or poems related to the experience of military service.

Portland: “From Troy to Afghanistan”

Combat Veterans of all eras are invited to attend this free reading and discussion group led by Jeannine Uzzi, Ph.D., University of Southern Maine, and Cliff Trott, U.S. Army.

Copies of the readings will be provided and include selections from The Iliad and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.

Meets April 19, April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, May 24 | Wednesdays 6-8pm

Space is limited; registration is required. For more information and to register, call Cliff Trott at 780-3584.

If you would like more information about any of our Veterans groups, please contact Leah Kuehn or call (207) 773-5051.

“From Troy to Afghanistan” is offered in partnership with the Portland Vet Center, Falmouth Memorial Library, Merrill Memorial Library, Portland Public Library, and Scarborough Public Library


  • “I heard about this group and I thought, ‘Coming Home, what a concept.’ I’m older, I’m tired, and I’m ready to get on with the rest of my life… [The Odyssey] was telling a story to us from 3,000 years ago and yet we were telling the same story to each other… It felt good to be part of something the society we live in doesn’t really offer, especially to veterans. We tend to be apart from what goes on.”


  • “I don’t get out much. In fact, I rarely leave my home. This has been good for me–to meet other Vets and think about some things I haven’t wanted to think much about, maybe it’s time to now…I like that it is a book group. I can think about these things that the readings bring up but can talk about the book, not my personal story.”


  • "Being a Veteran is much like being in a fraternity, these discussions work best as 'members only.' It seems easier to talk when you know people around you 'get it.'"


  • "It was good to be able to share my experiences with other fellow Veterans and not be judged or criticized for how I feel or think."


  • "It allowed Veterans who normally spend a lot of time alone to actually come to the group and talk about their experiences when they normally wouldn't in a forum."


  • "It's a good place to connect, through reading and discussion, with other veterans and their experiences. Helping us to process and deal with our own."


  • "Remember, it is HARD to acclimate back into the civilian world when you have lived a military life 24/7 for a number of years. So much of America's contemporary culture is meaningless to a veteran...we were trained to lose our self and replace it with our unit; our mentality is different now and we cannot go back easily (some never do)."


  • "[The] readings are from all perspectives and as a person you might be surprised that some issues that are present today aren't all that different from past conflicts. This point of view helps widen the spectrum of understanding and helps break the tunnel vision of isolation."


  • "For forty years I have been looking for words to describe my experience and I finally found them right here in this ancient book (The Odyssey)."


  • "If there had been a project like this both before we deployed and certainly after returning home, I would not have had the problems I had."


Veterans programming in Maine is offered in partnership with:

  logo and name garnet     150th - transparent Portland Vet Center logo        vtmC77DAE921542B85B9     SPL Logo SPOT COLOR

Funded by:

The Welch Charitable Fund at the Maine Community Foundation


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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.