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By Karen Green

I’d like to have a dime
for every teardrop that I shed,
then it wouldn’t seem worthless
to shed tears to clear my head.
Sometimes my heart feels heavy,
my life so filled with fears,
I could relieve myself from this weight
if I just would shed some tears.
I’ve always been told to stand tall,
that crying’s a waste of time,
but to hold back those tears
only hurts the mind.
Tears are like raindrops.
They cleanse the inner man,
so I don’t have to hold back,
I’ll cry, I know I can.
When my heart feels heavy
and my life starts to fill with fears,
I’ll relieve myself from that weight
by crying some healthy tears.

VAMC—Las Vegas, NV

You’re Invited to the Pen Celebration

Saturday, November 1st, 2014
2-4 pm
WWI Museum
100 W. 26th St, Kansas City, MO


The Board of Directors of Veterans Voices Writing Project, the publishers of Veterans’ Voices, invites you to

The Veterans’ Pen Celebration
Saturday, November 1st, 2014
2-4 pm
WWI Museum
100 W. 26th St, Kansas City, MO

RSVP Here by October 24th.

Honoring Veterans Empowered by
the Written Word


Perry A. Puccetti
“Tears in the Rain”
Retired USMC
President and CEO, Triple-I

Howard “Buzz” Bigham, Writing Aide

Omaha, NE VA Medical Center

 Veterans’ Voices authors in attendance will be introduced along with sponsors of the event.

Flag Pen

Hope for Humanity

By Carlos Ortiz

A great person once told me life is a journey to be lived,

Not a problem to be solved.

I continuously reiterate these words to all my friends and family

Who are overwhelmed with life or are dysfunctionally involved.

These words are the essences of my sanity,

For I am constantly worried about superfluous things like vanity.

We are social beings that need each other,

In order to coexist we should live like sister and brother.

I close these few linkes with total reservation

And hope one day all humans can show each other love and dedication.

VAMC-Brooklyn, NY

Typists: Deena Jacobs

HVWP Hosts Open House, Celebrates New Office Space

HVWP Hosts Open House, Celebrates New Office Space

Kansas City, Mo. — Veterans Voices Writing Project (HVWP), a national non-profit that provides therapeutic writing services to hospitalized and outpatient veterans served by the Department of Veterans Affairs, will open its doors this fall to Kansas City’s civic and business community.

In June 2014, HVWP was kicked out of its office in Mission, Kan., by the new building owners. With limited resources and time, HVWP scrambled to find and secure new office space. As luck would have it, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national headquarters, located in Kansas City, Mo., welcomed HVWP to its building.

“We are beyond grateful for the extended support and inclusion from VFW leaders and staff,” said HVWP Board President, Jerry D. Brown. “With our new office space in the VFW building, there is a natural alliance and synergy with our organizations, allowing each of us to better serve our veterans and our respective organizational missions.”

To celebrate its new headquarters and partnership with VFW, HVWP will host an open house Wednesday, October 1 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Open House

About Veterans Voices Writing Project (HVWP) and Veterans’ Voices

Founded in 1946, HVWP provides writing as therapy to rehabilitate hospitalized and outpatient veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs system. In 1952, HVWP established the magazine, Veterans’ Voices, in an effort to empower veterans by publishing their work at a national level. The magazine is published three times per year and is distributed to VA medical centers across the country. HVWP and Veterans’ Voices is governed by a board of 10 dignitaries, business leaders and veterans. The board oversees HVWP’s operations, coordinates programs with members and orchestrates its writing aids, VAVS representatives and volunteers. For additional information about HVWP, please call 816-701-6844 or visit www.veteransvoices.org.

Veterans’ Voices Is Not Publishing Summer Issue

For the first time in its 65-year history, Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project (VVWP), the publishers of Veterans’ Voices magazine, will not publish a Summer issue. Due to unexpected costs and time constraints of a forced move to new offices, VVWP volunteers do not have the resources, both in time and money, to publish a Summer issue. Last month VVWP was notified that it had 30 days to vacate its offices.

“We were caught off guard by the move and the additional expenses,” said VVWP President Jerry D. Brown. “We run a very tight budget to begin with and this expense was just too much. We know many authors and readers will be disappointed, but our board believed this was the best course of action.”

The average cost for publishing one 64-page issue of the magazine is approximately $12,000, which includes costs for formatting, printing, mailing and prize money for each published author.

Veterans’ Voices relies solely on private donations and grants for all its operations; both have been down in recent years. “The donations we receive and the subscriptions for the magazine have not covered the costs and we have been using some of our reserve funds. However, we are looking for corporate sponsors for each issue going forward for a long-term sustainable solution so we don’t have to close down altogether, said VVWP Treasurer Tess Raydo.

The organization has found office space at the Veterans of Foreign Wars headquarters building, 406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, Mo. The new telephone number for VVWP is 816-701-6844 and the website is www.veteransvoices.org. The group will resume publication of Veterans’ Voices with the Fall issue.


Veterans’ Voices, a KC non-profit, is getting kicked to the curb

For Immediate Release

June 19, 2014

A national non-profit organization, headquartered in Kansas City and offering therapeutic writing services to America’s veterans is getting kicked out of their Mission, KS office space with no place to go and limited funds to finance an office move. After 40 years in the same location, Veterans’ Voices magazine and the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project (HVWP) were informed last week, by their new landlord, that they must vacate their office space by July 31.

Board members, staff, volunteers, as well as HVWP Board President, Jerry D. Brown, are shocked and scrambling to find new office space in time. Veterans’ Voices and HVWP has served thousands of veterans over the years with their therapeutic writing program that helps veterans process the emotional and mental impact of their combat experiences… essentially healing our heroes and in many cases preventing suicide.

“We are in the middle of a transition process to update our technology and processes to reach younger generations of veterans so the legacy and assistance can continue on. The additional costs of the move could mean the end of helping veterans. In fact, Veterans’ Voices won’t be publishing its summer issue because of this unbudgeted expense for moving.” said Jerry Brown.

HVWP was established in 1946 by Elizabeth Fontaine with the support of the Chicago North Shore chapter of Theta Sigma Phi (now The Association for Women in Communications)  In 1952, Gladys Feld Helzberg  and Sally Keach, with assistance from the Greater Kansas City chapter of Theta Sigma Phi, established the Veterans’ Voices publication to provide a national outlet for the collection of special writings. Veterans’ Voices has published over 58,000 works in its 62-year history. It is supported by private donations and while the magazine serves veterans, it does not receive funds from the Veterans Administration.Vet with Writing Aid

Veterans’ Voices has been quietly working behind the scenes serving and helping our veterans across the country. The history of this organization in Kansas City is long and deep, and their story has largely gone untold in the Kansas City community. It’s really a hidden gem that exemplifies philanthropic Kansas City’s spirit. There is no other veteran organization like it.

Over the past year, the organization has been implementing a technology initiative to offer more online methods to receive and publish veteran’s stories.  Having to find new office space, the cost of new phone lines, updating materials with a new address, sorting, packing, moving and setting up a new office, is an unexpected expense that could just be enough to stop all services permanently.

“We desperately need the community’s help to not only find new office space, but also to help support the cost of the move and other associated expenses. HVWP is a 501 (c)(3) and relies solely on private donations and grants for all its operations,”  said Margaret Clark, HVWP Vice President and Editor of Veterans’  Voices.

–If you’d like to donate, go to www.veteransvoices.org or mail check or money order to: Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project, 5920 Nall, Suite 101, Mission, KS 66202-3456.

–If you know of office space available in the Kansas City area at no or low cost, please email veteransvoices@sbcglobal.net.

To learn more information about Veterans’ Voices and HVWP, visit http://www.veteransvoices.org  or


HVWP Recognizes Medal of Honor Recipient

Ballard01HVWP Recognizes Medal of Honor Recipient At Event Marking Veterans’ Voices 60th Year of Publication.

Missouri’s only living Medal of Honor recipient, Col. (Ret) Donald “Doc” Ballard, will be the guest speaker for the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project’s annual Veterans’ Pen Celebration on Saturday, October 27, at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.

The event marks 60 years of continuous publishing of Veterans’ Voices—a magazine devoted exclusively to the writing of outpatient and hospitalized veterans served by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The national magazine was founded in 1952 by two Kansas Citians, Margaret Sally Keach and Gladys Feld Helzberg, and has been published three times a year ever since.

Col. Donald Ballard was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 14, 1970, for heroism while serving as a Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines in Vietnam. Returning to his platoon following the evacuation of two heat casualties, Ballard’s company was ambushed by a North Vietnamese Army unit and sustained numerous casualties. Observing a wounded Marine, he unhesitatingly moved across the fire-swept terrain to the injured man to render medical assistance. As he was preparing to move the Marine, an enemy soldier left his concealed position to fire and throw a grenade on the small group. Instantly, shouting a warning to the Marines, Ballard threw himself on the lethal explosive device. When the grenade failed to detonate, he calmly rolled over and threw it away. A split second later, witnesses say, the grenade exploded in midair, away from the wounded. Ballard then continued his efforts in treating other Marine casualties.

Following his Navy service, Ballard joined the Kansas Army National Guard in 1970 and was promoted to Colonel in 1998. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Col. Ballard now resides in Grain Valley, Missouri, where he is the owner of Swan Lake Memorial Park and Chapel of Memories Funeral Home there.