Texas Veterans' Voices and Humanities Texas cordially invite veterans, their loved ones, and the public to participate in group readings of ancient Greek texts at the Byrne-Reed House on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Readings will include excerpts from Antigone, Women of Trachis, Philoctetes, Ajax, Herakles, and The Odyssey. Discussion will follow, led by veterans including Paul Woodruff (Army), Johnny Meyer (Army), Mike Flynn (Navy), Lon Olson (Navy), and Luke Perez (Air National Guard).
Woodruff, a professor of philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin and cofounder of Texas Veterans' Voices, writes, "The project aims to give voice to the many veterans who cannot find a way to tell their stories to the people they love. Many of their stories are too raw to expose, and they feel that their civilian audience remains too innocent to understand the trials of combat, and the loved ones may turn away once they hear the worst. But the stories fester if they are not told, and the loved ones, if they are not told something, are well aware that they are missing something huge. Soldiers nevertheless have a duty to communicate; their missions are not ended when they are deposited on the shores of civilian life. We aim to challenge veterans to continue their mission, and to help them serve their communities through events that reflect on combat and civic responsibility."
"The ancient Greek playwrights were veterans, their actors were mostly veterans, and so were their audiences," says Woodruff, who translated some of the readings from their original language. "The scenes we've selected include parts both for veterans and for those who were left behind, and the readings are intended to engage small groups of veterans along with the people who care about them. Reading out loud brings understanding far more effectively than reading silently or being read to. If you read Tecmessa's speech [from Ajax] about her husband's madness, for example, you will come to a close sense of what it is like to be married to a man with post-traumatic stress."
While the event is free and open to the public, space is limited and an RSVP is required. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512.440.1991 to RSVP.