Items posted here are usually unfettered by moral dilemma, at least for me. Not so with this article about the Veteran’s Writing Project and the NEA’s Operation Homecoming.
I’m angry that so many soldiers are coming home with traumatic brain injuries. Hell, I’m angry they were in Afghanistan and Iraq at all. I’m also angry that it takes such horrific human drama to make salient the humane value of life.
But I profoundly relate to the soldiers through our mutual dependence on writing to make sense of the absurd and I’m thrilled that they found these tools. I’m also proud that artists and scientists are working together to craft a response to war that is ultimately liberating for those we’ve saddled with such a burden.
Now, might we better employ the arts to prevent the problem altogether? It’s asking a lot, I know, but if it’s liberation we’re after then surely it’s worth the same kind of investment. Where is the NEA’s partnership with The U.S. Institute of Peace?