Veteran Writers Share their Stories

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So Say We All and Mesa’s English Department put together a literary reading in celebration of Veteran’s day on November 14th where students and veterans joined to share their personal stories.
The literary and performing arts nonprofit organization So Say We All (SSWA) gives individuals opportunities in communities to share their stories. The program uses, “Story telling’ instead of writing because everyone tells stories daily,” says founder Justin Hudnall.
Veteran Francisco Martinezcuello tugged on the audience’s heartstrings when he read his story “Dreams and Nightmares” where he described the time his post-traumatic stress disorder gave him thoughts about ending his life. “Pain and suffering is caused with memories,” said Martinezcuello.
But what gave him the courage to keep living life? Martinezcuello thought about his two daughters and everything he had to look forward to not only in his own life, but theirs as well. He dreamt about his deceased father-in-law who missed out on his grandchildren’s lives and no longer had a need to kill himself.
Veteran writer Adam Stone brought in his certified service dog Luna and showed the audience a slideshow of his trip to Afghanistan. Stone’s experience in Afghanistan made it hard for him to do normal things people do everyday. He described driving down Highway 1 with Luna and just the sound of his shoes stepping on the gravel when they get out of the car reminded him of stepping off his tank, hearing bombs and gunshots in Afghanistan.
The crowd was full of young students coming to support veterans and ready to listen to the insightful stories that have impacted their lives. The event began around 7 p.m and was full of laughs and some tears depending on the story being told.

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