By Kelci Sylvia
Many people argue about whether we should fight over in Iraq, just like the other wars and conflicts we’ve been in. The Weaving of Warrior Writers isn’t about arguments. It’s about the people.
The ones who come home with a weight on their chests, with heavy hearts and heavy minds. Some have lost friends, comrades, others lose a trusted companion. Some don’t come home at all.
It’s important to remember them, and help the men and women who make it home safe. Because while they’re home physically, maybe not all of them came back. A veteran’s mental health is just as important, and some may argue more important, than their physical health.
The art installation that currently resides in a display case on the first floor of the Maxwell Library was created by soldiers who fought in war. It takes stories, hand-written experiences and thoughts, and turns them into a collage that culminates in the small tapestry that resides in that case.
The weavings were done by a special process. Cheyenne McCarter and Catherine Tutter came in to show the veterans who participated what to do. The stories, written on special paper, was then twisted into yarn.
The yarn was then woven into the tapestry that rests in the case, with each story specially marked to show whose story was whose.
While some people chose to be anonymous, there are many who put their names to their stories.
Many people have contributed to the weaving. A Vietnam veteran, an Iraq veteran and many others. The colored ink shows a bit of color amidst the white paper.
The top of the case shows the collected stories from The Warrior Writers, a group who got veterans together and wrote about their experiences.
Margaret Bellafiore, who set up the art, has been working with the veterans on campus for seven years now. She’s done various projects with them, like Combat to Campus, that gives a voice to the people who have served.
Throughout November there will be veteran-themed events on campus. On the first floor of the RCC, there is a video of the process of the weaving, as well as letters, both real and dramatized, from soldiers and students. They’re in small boxes as soon as you walk through the door.
There’s a musical performance on Veterans Day, Tuesday Nov. 11. It is in the St.Basil’s Chapel at 7:30 p.m. There is also a docudrama put on by Dr. Suzanne Ramczyk, showing from Nov. 20 – 23. It features dramatized stories from actual veterans.
To see how you can get involved in Veteran Affairs, or if you yourself are a veteran and would like to talk to someone, the Department of Military and Veteran Student Services on campus can help. To reach them, call 508-531-1214 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelci Sylvia is a Comment staff writer.