Bridging the gap between military and civilian communities

The San Diego Public Library, in collaboration with local nonprofit arts organization So Say We All, will host an evening of readings and discussion aimed at helping bridge the cultural gap between military and civilian communities.

Crossing the Military-Civilian Divide: Stories and Conversation will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library, 3701 Voltaire St. The library houses one of two Veterans Resource Centers in the San Diego Public Library system.

“Our work brings us in contact daily with our veteran and our civilian communities; this program is an exciting way to serve them both,” says Christine Gonzalez, Branch Manager. “We understand how stories, both fiction and nonfiction, can help us all feel what it’s like to be someone else for a little while. They can open the door for conversations we want to have but, sometimes, might find difficult.”

Dean Nelson, Ph.D. and Director of Point Loma Nazarene University’s journalism program, will moderate a panel of five authors who have published work exploring war and the return from deployment. Three military veterans – Michelle Kerouac, Derrick Woodford and Adam Stone – will read from their contributions to the So Say We All series “Incoming.” The veterans will be joined by civilian writers Sue Diaz of Encinitas, a frequent NPR contributor, and Elizabeth Marro of San Diego.

The five panelists represent a diverse group of experiences, including those of a military wife, a U.S. Marine trying to re-enter civilian life after his last combat mission, and those of a son who joins the Army after coming out to his mother.

“This panel blends so many important and unheard perspectives,” says Justin Hudnall, Executive Director of So Say We All. “And we hope to hear whatever our audience wants to share – their perspectives, their questions and their own stories.”

Admission is free and refreshments will be served. To learn more about the San Diego Public Library Veterans Resource Centers, visit https://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/services/outreach/vrc. For more information about So Say We All, visit http://www.sosayweallonline.com.

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