What They Signed Up For: True Stories by Ordinary Soldiers
“Support our troops” is a common phrase these days, seen on lawn signs and bumper stickers across America. Veterans are openly thanked and regarded as heroes. Thousands of service organizations help veterans find jobs, secure housing, and heal from the experience of war.
But it wasn’t always this way. Veterans returned from Vietnam to a country deeply divided and still haunted by that war. Veterans from Korea felt their war was utterly ignored by their country. And veterans from World War I, destitute during the Great Depression, were treated like criminals by their government.
Why and how has America’s treatment of its veterans changed over time? This presentation examines America’s relationship to wars and veterans over the last century. Drawing on the stories of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, the presentation reveals the timeless experience of veterans even as America creates new national narratives about its wars and the men and women who fight them.
Jeb Wyman has been a faculty member for twenty-five years at Seattle Central College. He interviewed veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan for a collection of first-person accounts of war and the challenging of coming home, titled What They Signed Up For: True Stories by Ordinary Soldiers. He has been the academic director of the Clemente Course for Veterans at Antioch University, a program for veterans who study history, philosophy, art, and literature, and will direct the forthcoming Dialogues on the Experience of War at Pacific Lutheran University.
Doors open at 6pm
Museum exhibits and store open until 8:30pm
Free with paid museum admission
CHM Members get in free
First Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Al Peirce Company with additional support from The Mill Casino.
All events subject to change.