Spoken word and journaling helping veterans heal in Lancaster County

LANCASTER, Pa. --  Many people celebrate Veteran's Day simply with a 'thank you' to a wounded warrior.

However, it was a different kind of spoken word which made a difference in Lancaster County Sunday afternoon.

Dozens of people took part in a free Veteran's Spoken Word Festival hosted by a local nonprofit organization, WriteFace.

“If you’re a veteran, and you’re living a reclusive life, you’re withdrawn from everybody, I understand," said Monte Burley, a veteran.

Each time, Monte Burley, a combat veteran, recites on of his poems, he’s growing.

"I was that veteran at one point, and it doesn’t have to continue that way," said Burley.

"We’re trying to provide a really safe place for the veterans to explore their emotional inner landscape, and we do that through the writing process," said Annie Ginder, the program director and co founder of Writeface.

Writeface hosts free, weekly workshops for veterans.

"Especially if you’re living with PTSD as I am, you can find yourself in a environment that is safe, welcoming, and familiar environment," added Burley.

During those workshops, men and women collect their thoughts and emotions and put them on paper.

"When you write, you’re using language, the words you choose. Even your handwriting, whether big or small, hard or small and light, it all tells you something about where you’re at," explained Ginder.

It’s not your traditional therapy, but some veterans say it’s helping.

"PTSD never goes away, but its symptoms can be managed, and I’m walking talking proof of that," said Scott Hower, a veteran and the Co Founder of Writeface.

“I learned to yield to the situation, and just let it happen," said Burley.

For more information about Writeface, click here. 

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