Veteran’s Day: Just Tell The Story


On 11 November 2017 Medic was among several vets invited by Congressman Seth Moulton to speak at a Town Hall meeting in Marblehead, MA. The event was reported in various newspapers, including The Salem News.

“The idea of a veterans town hall was conceived by author Sebastian Junger, based on the tradition of warrior storytelling. “Warrior storytelling brings together veterans and the communities they serve so they both can be supportive of each other,” Moulton said in an email.”

About one hundred twenty people showed up. There were no dignitaries spouting worn cliches. No solemn ROTC color guard. Or flag salute or national anthem. Just men, no women this time, laying out their sometimes brutal, sometimes sad, or excited, or sorrowful, though always powerful, stories of what war did to them, and what they did or do now to survive.

The rules were simple. Ten minutes each, no politics, no comments from the audience. Just tell the story. The audience was attentive, respectful, and at times deeply moved by what veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and WWII had to say.

What a contrast to a separate event, held at the same location, an hour prior. Here, several WWII vets proudly recalled their military service. Among them, an Atomic vet, who held two hundred admiring people spellbound, as he spoke of volunteering for atomic bomb tests. Cheerfully, he described sitting in a desert fox hole, gazing out onto the empty desert, suddenly shielding his eyes from the blinding light. Shock waves rolled over him. He heard the sound of the mighty blast. Opening his eyes, he watched the fiery spectacle as it rose into the sky. “They dropped it on Hiroshima…to end the war,” he said. Was his voice edged with guilt? For a moment it was quiet in that enormous wood trimmed hall. He loved talking, and the audience, especially the children, loved his story, which made me sad.

Several weeks later, each story teller at Seth’s event received a card, similar to the one below.










“Marc, Thank you for sharing your powerful poetry with us
on Veteran’s Day.  All the best, Seth.”

Across the United States, more and more towns and cities are adopting the Town Hall meeting to celebrate Veteran’s Day.


The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 displays several events at the Battle of Princeton. At the center, American General Hugh Mercer, with his horse beneath him, is mortally wounded. At the left, American Daniel Neil is bayoneted against a cannon. At the right, British Captain William Leslie is shown mortally wounded. In the background, American General George Washington and Doctor Benjamin Rush enter the scene.

Wikipedia/Seth Moulton