Finding meaning after war: Speaker brings ‘Coming Home’ presentation to peninsula libraries

Drawing from hundreds of hours spent with veterans, Jeb Wyman — a speaker from the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau — discusses the profound moral and emotional impact the experience of war has had on them, and how war forever changes those who return from it, at three upcoming events on the Olympic Peninsula.

Wyman offers “Coming Home: How the Humanities Help Soldiers Find Meaning After War” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St., and at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave.

He’ll also present at the Forks Library on Saturday, Nov. 10.

In his presentations, Wyman discusses stories of the men and women who served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, incorporating experiences and insights from famous writers and philosophers about war and its aftermath.

Wyman touches on how studying war through the lens of the humanities may help both veterans and civilians heal the wounds of war.

A faculty member for more than 20 years at Seattle Central College, Wyman has been reading the stories by his student veterans since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has interviewed more than 70 veterans for a collection of first-person accounts, “What They Signed Up For: True Stories by Ordinary Soldiers,” which records not only their experiences of war but also why our veterans chose military service, and how coming home from war remains the greatest challenge for many of them.

Wyman academic director of the Clemente Course for Veterans at Antioch University, a new program for veterans who study history, philosophy, art, and literature to gain insight into their experiences, prepare them to pursue further higher education, and build community with other veterans.

Humanities Washington “sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across the state.” Speakers Bureau is one of Humanities Washington’s oldest and more popular programs. A roster of 31 cultural experts and scholars provides public presentations across the state encouraging audiences to think, learn and engage in conversation.

For more about Speakers Bureau, visit www.humanities.org/programs/speakers.

For more information about this program, visit www.nols.org, call 360-417-8500 or email to discover@nols.org.

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