2013 Veterans Pen Celebration

2013 Veterans Pen Celebration

VV Pen Celeb 25 View Event Photos

Saturday, November 2, 2013
2 – 4 p.m.

National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W. 26th St., Kansas City, MO

Premiere of the VVWP DVD  “Veterans’ Voices…. Alive and Well”  Featuring Veterans’ Voices authors & writing aides

Writing Aide Phyllis Bibeau, Albuquerque VAMC & Volunteers of VVWP was honored for her years of dedicated service.


By Charles Corley, Jr.

VA Medical Center — Hines, IL


We have come together because there is no easy

way. We are searching step-by-step for a way and a

language: a way to see ourselves clearly and a language

to give and receive the love that is hidden

somewhere in each of us.

There are everywhere, blind streets and dead end

alleys, but together we are building an open road.

Bad choices do not account for failures, but only for

mistakes; and the only mistakes which count permanently

are not so much errors, as our willingness to

be defeated by them. The most pitiful thing is a man

or woman who thinks he or she has nothing more

to learn. For although there is not a man or woman

exempt from guilt or dishonesty, there are some who

love their guilt and dishonesty.

Warriors, this house is only brief shelter along

the way. My brothers and sisters can only extend a

hand and I am only a possibility. For what we are,

we have chosen to be; and because we choose, we

are responsible. So long as we only wait for something

to happen, time will be a thief and hope a crook.

Remember warriors, there is only one kind of magic and that is doing! ■


Writing Aide: Scott Buckley

Typist: Pat Kranzow

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




 By Rodney Maxwell

VA Medical Center — Buffalo, NY


Adversity is misfortune when things go wrong:   medical conditions, finances, family and spouse problems,  friends, or even transportation. I could list a book  filled with adversity. Something will always go wrong  no matter how and what you plan. It is a part of life and  human nature.

Adversity is a powerful word, but the real power is how you deal with it. You still have to function. Life is not going to stop because of an individual’s adversity.  Get help. Treatment centers, church, peers, doctors, counselors and most of all self-awareness can help solve problems.

Always remember when you think you have encountered insurmountable adversity, there are others with problems greater than yours.

What Veterans’ Voices Gives to Me


What Veterans’ Voices Gives to Me


By Tim Segrest

VA Medical Center — Albuquerque, NM


I was asked to write about something that I, surprisingly, hadn’t really thought much about. I was asked how sharing my writings with you, my reader, helps me. Well, I have to be honest when I say that I really write for my own therapy.

I did this for several years before even considering submitting any of my work to be published or read aloud by another soul. I never wrote a thing until 2003, and I had my first poem published around 2006, I think, in “A Surrender to Other Moon” poetry collection book.

And while I still write for my own therapy, I have found sharing does fulfill a kind of void for me. It’s kind of like the phrase, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” You see, my life in the military was focused on a few things. Aside from the obvious, protecting this country’s great freedom, it was also to help, protect, and free others from oppression. I believe no man, or nation, has the right to commit crimes against humanity, such as genocide. Therefore, helping others makes me, as an individual, feel good in doing what I think is right. It is within this feeling that helps me share my work.

The very idea of someone reading it and realizing they are not alone, finding comfort in knowing there are others, such as myself, who shared in the same horrors of war. I guess one of my goals in sharing is showing that a person can find peace, like I have in my writing and sharing. The sad fact that I have myself attempted suicide is proof that

writing works. So, as I share my work, I pray that I have given strength to someone else to help them carry on. And I get the satisfaction that I believe I have. I’ll never actually, truly ever, most likely, never know for sure, but my heart says I have…and if I have helped just one person, well, that is enough for me to be satisfied with my writing. I urge people to press on through the hardest of times. I have been told by a few people that they started writing because of something I wrote.

So, to bring everything to a simple, yet strong statement, I guess I’ll have to say that helping others helps me. This is what sharing through Veterans’ Voices has done for me: I’ve received the gratification, the feeling of helping others, and fulfillment of a void, where I really feel good about a great number of things. After all, it’s been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, or the sniper rifle in my case.

Writing Aide: Phyllis Bibeau

Typist: Jane Harvey

My Healthe Vet

My HealtheVet

By Susanne Marie Colvin

VA Medical Center — Boise, ID


My HealtheVet is the VAMC program I value most, and I’ve been a VA patient since November 1967.    The Secure Messaging feature is the one place I turn to again and again.

Dr. Michael J. Kilfoyle of the Silver Team at the Boise VA Department of Veterans Affairs has made me a believer in the service. He is one in a million and responds quickly to my needs. I can tell him anything, even when I get upset with a private sector specialist and do a stupid thing like going off all my medications at once.

Dr. Kilfoyle listens to my concerns and tells me that he is sorry to see me in such distress and then gives me a little pep talk about not cutting my nose off to spite my face.  I don’t know about the costs of administering the My HealtheVet program. I hope it saves money because it’s an efficient way for patients to quickly address health concerns. Physician appointments can be difficult to schedule and sometimes they have to be set for months down the road.

My HealtheVet gives quick access and probably cuts down on emergency room visits. I recommend giving it a try! ■


Editor’s Note: My Healthe Vet is the VA’s e-health web site, which offers veterans, active duty soldiers, their dependents and caregivers internet access to VA healthcare information and services. Registering and using my HealtheVet is free. Visit your local VAMC web site or go to www.myhealth.va.gov to learn more.