Monday, April 30, 2012

Veterans' Writing Project

Last week, I completed a six-session writing seminar called the Veterans' Writing Project.  Attendance was open to military veterans in my local area, and the seminar was taught by the librarian and twoAdvanced Placement English teachers from a local high school.

On any given night, there were about six of us in attendance.  We all had different stories to tell, different backgrounds, and served during different eras--from the Vietnam War to the Global War on Terror.  However, we found that certain experiences in the military are universal regardless of rank or branch of service, some examples being:  Boot Camp, the gas chamber, the fog and friction of war, MREs, the weapons range, and, of course, HUAW (hurry up and wait).
     
While I have accumulated over 1,000 hours of continuing education since medical school, this was the first time that I attended a class of instruction that was not a CME course, and my first formal English class since college.  The information was valuable, but the friends I made were even more so.  And it definitely helped to jump start the writing of my military memoirs--just the story of my experience during Operation Unified Assistance in Indonesia is up to 15,000 words and counting!

4 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read your military memoirs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for being the very first to comment on Songs of Eretz! I have written a strong draft of the story of my experience during OUA, but want to do a little more research to flesh out the story, add some general history (with a personal twist), and to fill in some blanks. I expect the final product will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 words.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations on your prolific work, old friend. We clearly continue to share a lot of common interests in terms of authors, films, etc. One thing we do not share is military experience. I also have a keen interest in reading your memoirs, as I'm sure I would be transported to a strange world I could never conceive of (sort of like your sci-fi/fantasy works! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. My work is no more prolific than yours, my friend, so we have that in common as well! Yes, I have seen your name in medical textbooks--don't bother to deny it.

    I am most curious to know specifically which authors and films we both enjoy? I would love to chat with you about that--either here in this forum or privately.

    "Strange" is a word that could be used to describe life in the military, that is for sure. That said, as chaotic as it was, the five year period that I spent in service to our country was one of the few times in my life when everything seemed to make perfect sense.

    ReplyDelete

NO ANONYMOUS OR NEGATIVE COMMENTS, PLEASE. ONLY POSITIVE COMMENTS WITH ATTRIBUTION (YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS) WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION. OUR MODERATORS WILL SCREEN OUT ALL COMMENTS THAT DO NOT MEET THESE CRITERIA. ALL COMMENTS ARE SCREENED.

If you wish to provide suggestions, feedback, or constructive criticism to the Songs of Eretz staff, please send your thoughts to SWGordonMD@gmail.com. You may or may not receive a response, but your thoughts will be read.