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  • Martha Rasche

2 Vietnam veterans, 45 years later


We are about halfway through the class I am leading at the Habig Center in Jasper. Each of the nine sessions is to be an hour long. I knew I had a good group to work with when, on Day One, we all stayed two hours talking and getting to know each other. The two men in the class are both Vietnam veterans who didn't know each other before the first day of class when the first to arrive greeted the other with, "Welcome home, Brother." One of those men and two of the three women, like me, have been affected by a close relative's suicide. Today, we stayed two hours again. The two military veterans have been sharing some sad stories indeed, but they also are able to see some light in their pasts. That is part of what putting your story down on paper is all about, seeing a particular heartbreaking, life-changing event (or year or three years) from a more removed, less intense perspective. Writing about an event can help you distance yourself from the overwhelming emotion of it — and I know firsthand that that can help you heal.

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