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Veterans Share Their Stories Through Creative Writing

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Fighting for your country is not something everyone signs up foe, and that can make it hard for veterans to share their war experiences with others. But a statewide workshop is helping some find their voices.

It's never easy for a veteran to talk about what happens at war.

But Vietnam vet Dave Logosz says writing and sharing his experiences with other vets can be healing.

"It makes it easier. We're just like brothers," says Logosz.

Logosz is one of the veterans at the Warrior Words workshop in Dickinson where vets are learning how to share their stories through creative writing.

It's part of a statewide grant that the Greater Grand Forks Community Theater received from the State Humanities Council.

"The plan is to talk about writing and the things that make memories or stories really reach an audience who has not experienced something like that," says Dickinson State University professor Peter Grimes.

Participants learn how to use imagery and detail to enhance their stories.

"Recalling things that have happened to us in combat or in a war experience isn't difficult," says Marine vet Melissa Pavlicek. "The difficult part, I feel, is being able to put it down on paper and articulate it in a way where the listener truly understands what we went through."

And not many have dealt with what these veterans went through.

"Battle experience is something you never forget and you would rather not talk about. I can sit down and talk to another combat veteran about it, and we can lie to each other about how great we used to be. But I do have a little difficulty talking to an ordinary civilian," says Army veteran Calvin Lundberg.

Civilians will get a chance to listen to these Dickinson veterans' stories at a public reading on April 10.

There are also workshops going on in Minot, Bismarck and Grand Forks. A statewide public reading will take place in Grand Forks in May.

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