Open Mic Rochester is announcing a new media project in collaboration with Our Voice- the Magazine: OuR Vets.
Every year, thousands of vets die without ever telling stories of their service. In the black community, where mental health is largely ignored and men are especially urged to stay silent, the horrors and travesties many saw were kept to themselves. But so were the good memories; the bonding, traveling and the lessons learned about oneself and, ultimately, about the world.
There are countless ways to honor American troops but African-American troops aren’t always included. In fact, when many veterans came back to America, they faced violent racism for even wearing a uniform. Today, this conversation has transformed into a debate whether kneeling for the national anthem is disrespectful to troops. Many, both black and white have said no, but this media project doesn’t focus on this. Instead it looks at how this frame of discussion often ignores black troops who both served this country (fighting for the anthem) and faced the same brutality NFL player Colin Kaepernick is protesting.
In the coming weeks, reporters will interview local veterans and we will share the stories of about 5-8 of them: how they joined the military, their time there and transitioning back to civilian life. We’d like to also work with community partners to honor our local veterans, potentially through a community mural or discussion. We are very open to collaboration with other interested entities. Please share this page with veterans you may know or consider emailing us your story if you’d like to participate.