What does the term “Veteran” mean to you? I know we’ve passed Veterans Day, but stick with me here.
Maybe you think of a friend, grandfather, dad or daughter. The word “brave” might pop into your mind like it did in mine, or “a hero, someone willing to sacrifice his or her life for our freedom.” It’s also possible that you’ve connected a statistic or negative stereotype to the word, but actually know very little.
Have you ever considered a Veteran’s response to the same question? I hadn’t really, until Sean, a Marine Corps Veteran (and sure, my hunky boyfriend), started a project called VET that prompts Veterans to tell their story. A few of the quotes were later featured in his graphic design exhibition at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
I was surprised to see the time, content and emotion put into the responses. Each one was unique, raw and beautifully expressed.
As a civilian, the project gave me the chance to connect on a personal level with Veterans. When you think about it, it’s rare that we are given the chance to hear from individual Veterans in such a way and I am thankful for the insight I took away from the experience. It’s an important project to me, and not simply because my dude is running it. I think it provides a realness, heightens awareness and sheds a new/different light on what we think we know.
Today, an article was published on Veteran Empire about VET that talks about the creative process behind the project.
Also, if you know a Veteran, perhaps he or she may be interested in contributing to Sean’s project,which has been relaunched at TheVetProject.com
You can also help out by making a purchase on the site. Proceeds will be donated to the Seven Stars Foundation, a charity aiming to make a positive impact on
the children of both wounded and fallen military members through financial, emotional, and educational assistance.