VEP Public Events and Workshops
VEP speakers at public events
Sharing stories in public venues, such as town meetings and Veterans Day events, VEP veterans and military family members educate hundreds of people, per year, about the realities of war and its impact on veterans and their loved ones. Public presentations also promote community dialogue, and share important resources that can help veterans and military families.
What I found inspiring [about a VEP-organized public forum on the Iraq war held in Amherst] was the patient and respectful way participants expressed and listened to positions that differed from their own. This kind of forum is sorely needed [when] biased political views dominate the public agenda, often sacrificing helpful dialogue.
Jim Pitts, an Amherst resident and veteran, in a Daily Hampshire Gazette letter to the editor
[VEP] has helped us to go forward and tell not only the community, but the nation and the world about the tragic story of our son’s struggles and torment of PTSD, the failure of the system to help him, and his suicide.
Joyce and Kevin Lucey, parents of Jeffrey Lucey, a Marine Reserve veteran of Iraq who took his life nine months after coming home from the war. The Lucey’s are co-founders of the VEP military family group.
Education and training programs for professionals working with veterans
Our events often team our veteran speakers with mental health professionals experienced in working with veterans. They blend practical expert information with first person experiences and insights from those who have confronted and overcome the challenges of deployment, return and reintegration into family, work and college life. Some of the workshops organized through colleges or hospitals provide participants continuing education credits in mental health and medical fields.
Whenever I’m at a presentation that includes [panels of military veterans and military family members such as VEP’s], I find myself feeling irrelevant by the time they are done. The conference was really well designed and was the best I’ve been to.
Dr. Andrew Pomerantz, MD, a psychiatrist at the White River Junction (VT) VA and a keynote speaker at a conference VEP helped to organize at the Baystate Medical Center
If there is any way to range the state (with this presentation) it would be helpful to so many. This is the first event of this sort I have found anywhere.
Clergy attending clergy conference at Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley, MA.