My Time with 5000 Soldiers

my_time_with_5000_soldiers_700In February of 2013, I had the honor, challenge, horror, joy, and whimsy of being part of a small team of consultants who accepted the privilege of debriefing a brigade of approximately 5000 US Army soldiers as they returned from active duty in Afghanistan. Each soldier was required to “debrief” as part of an effort to assist in his or her transition home. Their stories are confidential.  Yet the stories were there. I’m a storyteller at heart and so as an expressive arts therapist who teaches people how to use art making as a self-care method, I wrote words, prose, and poetry each evening to help me stay grounded in order to be fully present for the soldiers and for myself.