Wars Within program to host a series of veteran discussion groups beginning Feb. 19

HUNTINGTON — Marshall University’s Wars Within, the Wars Without program, which helps local veterans reflect on their experiences, is set to host a series of veterans’ discussion groups beginning Saturday, Feb. 19.

Led by veterans, the discussion groups will examine texts about ancient and modern war as a way of reflecting on what veterans have been through. The discussion events are scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 19 at the Vandalia Crowd House above Backyard Pizza and Rawbar on 3rd Ave and 9th Street in downtown Huntington, and March 5 and 19 at the Huntington Vet Center. Nomada Bakery will be catering the event.

The hope is to bring a variety of generations of veterans together for meaningful discussion with each one another to create a lasting community of and for veterans who support one another. Through coming together and narrating and remembering their personal experiences they can develop a path to healing and recovery.

Dr. Christina Franzen, associate professor of classics, and Dr. Robin Riner, professor of anthropology, are spearheading the program.

“The imagery in the ancient literature we read invokes the fracturing of self that occurs when soldiers face unthinkable acts and a fractured body politic that results from war,” Franzen said. “Enabling recovery requires that we begin the process of mending these fractures both of individual veterans and of the relationships and communities that are severed in the wake of trauma.”

Franzen says the program is always looking to bring in more veterans in the group to generate more experiences that the other veterans can learn from. Those interested can register at www.marshall.edu/warswithin. Reading materials will be provided upon registration.

Anyone interested in more information can e-mail either of the faculty members leading the project, Riner at conleyr@marshall.edu or Franzen at franzen@marshall.edu.

The project is offered with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council, and Marshall’s Center for Teaching and Learning, Office of Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts and departments of Humanities and Sociology and Anthropology.

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