Veterans' Voices

Veterans’ Voices is a long-term initiative that draws on the power of the humanities to call attention to the stories and contributions of Veterans. This initiative amplifies, honors, and recognizes the stories and contributions of Minnesota Veterans in their own voice through plays, art, discussion groups, and the Veterans’ Voices Award.

Help support Veterans' Voices by donating through the Minnesota Humanities Center's Veterans' Voices Give MN page.

Listen to a Vet: Bridging the Civilian-Veteran Divide

A film screening and discusion with Dr. Paula J. Caplan

Date: Tuesday, November 11
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: Minnesota Humanities Center
Cost: $10 per person, covers materials 
REGISTER NOW

Join psychologist Dr. Paula J. Caplan for a screening of Is Anybody Listening?, which takes us on her journey to bridge what has been called an “epidemic of disconnection” between civilians and Veterans. The film is followed by an audience Q & A exploring the important role we all can perform in bridging this divide.

For many Veterans hearing the words “thank you” from people who don’t know what they did or saw is an empty gesture. Dr. Caplan discovered that more than anything, Veterans wanted their community to listen to their stories—to participate in their various struggles and gain a deeper awareness of the meaning of war, the realities of military life, and how it is to return home.

Dr. Paula J. Caplan is a clinical and research psychologist, author, and playwright. Her book, When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans, won three national awards for nonfiction. She has taught and lectured at the University of Toronto and Harvard University, been a Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, and currently serves as an Associate at the DuBois Institute at Harvard University.

Always Lost: A Meditation on War

Featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning combat photographs and literary meditations on the nature of war, Always Lost: A  Meditation on War brings home the personal and collective costs of war and honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

2014 Host Sites

October 13-October 24, Carleton College, Northfield
November 3-November 17, Southwest Veterans Association, Marshall
November 24-December 8, Normandale Community College, Bloomington
December 15-January 26, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis

2015 Host Sites

February 23-March 11,  Distance Minnesota, Perham
April 15-April 24, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis
May 1-May 15, Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester
July 31-August 21,  Metropolitan State University, St. Paul
September 4-September 25, South Central Community College, Faribault

2014 Veterans' Voices Month Law

Minnesota is the first state to designate an entire month to honoring Veterans. The Minnesota Humanities Center worked with Minnesota Veterans, Representative Jerry Newton (D-District 37A), Representative Bob Dettmer (R-District 39A), and Senator John A. Hoffman (D-District 36) to write a bill designating October as Veterans’ Voices Month (HF 2812). After passing both Houses by unanimous vote, Governor Mark Dayton signed Veterans’ Voices Month into law on May 16, 2014. This law will not only honor and celebrate the accomplishments of Minnesota Veterans, but will also educate all Minnesotans by sharing and studying Veterans’ experiences. Minnesota Veterans will be encouraged to share their stories through art, essays, and poetry in an effort to assist the public in understanding this unique military culture.

In honor of Veterans’ Voices Month, the Humanities Center and the Veterans’ Voices Advisory Committee have compiled a list of resources suitable for educators to use with their students.

View the Veterans’ Voices Resources

2014 Veterans' Voices Award

This September 11th the Minnesota Humanities Center honored Minnesota Veterans who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with the 2014 Veterans’ Voices Award. The Humanities Center invited anyone to nominate candidates who fall into two nomination categories: On the Rise (40 and under) or Legacy (41 and over).

Awards were presented at the second annual Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony held at the Humanities Center on the east side of St. Paul on September 11, 2014. This award recognized Minnesotans who served honorably, are thriving, and are making extraordinary contributions to their communities. These former and current military service members made exceptional, positive contributions that improved the lives of people across Minnesota.

2014 Veterans' Voices Awardees

Legacy

Muriel Alexander-Alvarez, Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard, Waubun
Donald Allen, Army, Columbia Heights
Ted Daley, Army, Eagan
Ron Fagen, Army, Granite Falls
Brockton Hunter, Army, Minneapolis
Jerry Kyser, Army, Roseville
Thomas Lyons, Air Force and Air National Guard, Plymouth
Jerry Newton, Army, Coon Rapids
Thomas Plunkett, Army, St. Paul
Dennis Schulstad, Air Force, Edina

On the Rise

Cortney Amundson, Air Force, New Prague
Trevor Berg, Army National Guard, Newfolden
Martin Caraway, U.S. Marine Corps, Renville
Louis Goldstein, Army Reserve, Hutchinson
 

On the Rise (continued)

Scott Hanson, Army National Guard and Air Force National Guard, Brooklyn Park
Brian Hare, Army, Woodbury
Christopher Hinton, Navy, Waseca
Aaron Heusinkveld, Army National Guard, St. Cloud
Richard Leonard, Army National Guard, Woodbury
Mike Lotzer, Army National Guard, Apple Valley
Dina Lubben, Army National Guard, Lakefield
Amber Manke, Army National Guard, Cottage Grove
Jason McNamara, Army, Mankato
Kristin Nord, Air National Guard, Buffalo
Brian Ophus, Army National Guard. Bemidji
Alex Schueller. U.S. Marine Corps, Eagan
Sean Staum, U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard, Inver Grove Heights
John Swenson, Navy, Windom
Evan Tsai, U.S. Marine Corps, Minneapolis
Dave Wentzel, Army National Guard, Mankato

See why the 2014 Veterans' Voices awardees were nominated. (PDF)