“Homer’s Odyssey offers a map for Soldiers coming home. A reading group provides the opportunity for Veterans to read the map.” -- Program participant
Talking about ideas that touch us is really difficult— and vitally important. Our ideas develop when we are called upon to share them, to bounce them around, and to encounter new ones, and that’s what happens when people with shared experiences meet to talk to each other, to listen to each other, to ponder and reflect together on something they’ve all just read. In Veterans Book Group, this foundation is especially important— participants have told us time and again that, when done right, this book group provides a space to connect with other Veterans that is not purely social and not clinical.
Each Veterans Book Group is developed in conjunction with a Veteran co-facilitator and is comprised of texts—poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, novels, and other media, both ancient and modern—that explore a variety of perspectives. Veterans get together around a table to talk about what they’re reading. The facilitators add depth and breadth to the conversation, meeting participants where they are, leaving space for different and sometimes difficult perspectives, creating a good atmosphere for discussion, and making sure everyone feels free to share their ideas and questions with one another. Groups meet weekly, 5-8 times.