I started writing for the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project (HVWP) years ago. I was at the V.A. Medical Center in Murfreeboro, Tenn. At first, my writings were inferior. Plagued by tensions and anxieties, my efforts seemed an uphill battle.
To say the least, I needed nerve to continue my writing. Then one day, I entered the HVWP seasonal contest and won fourth place. It was for one of my articles, entitled “Writing to Heal the Wounds.” Mental wounds, that is.
I remember Mrs. Elizabeth Fontaine, who founded HVWP at the end of WWII. She wrote a note to me saying. “Keep trying!” That was in 1962. I kept trying. After a couple of years, I began to improve enough to get published in Veterans’ Voices, which was created by Margaret Sally Keach and others in 1952.
In 1965, I wrote myself out of the V.A. Medical Center, which was then called a V.A. Hospital.
The HVWP and Veterans’ Voices volunteers have kept alive the dreams of thousands of patients. The mental therapy is beyond explanation. Being published in Veterans’ Voices makes my heart sing, and the song goes on for all patients who dare to write.
The HVWP is a tool of mercy. She touches the hearts and minds of hospitalized veterans all over the United States of America! She has been a savior to me; she has calmed my nerves to a point of caring, not only for me, but for all who read her contents.
No other source of therapy has equaled that of HVWP. Mental alertness and a new awakening are just a few of the pluses for me and my writing friends.
As I look into the future of my writing, I see the world in a positive light, despite the fact that wars and terrorists are in the news daily. I think about how to improve my mental outlook and I will do that by writing for HVWP.
Making the world a better place in which to live is to present love and faith to those who know only darkness. One mind refreshed is a great leap toward light for all inhabitants of earth. All writing veterans are on the road to enlightenment. In short, we writers can make a difference.
Keep those pens a-moving! Touch someone’s heart! Watch the world rejoice. It can just be a few words on paper! Thanks, HVWP!