STAMFORD, Conn., Nov. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As a way to honor veterans this Veterans Day, Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a national not-for-profit network of mental health clinics for post-9/11 veterans and military families, partnered with StoryCorps to record, preserve, and share the stories of service and transition from military veterans.
With a mission to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world, StoryCorps partnered with CVN to record 15, 40-minute uninterrupted conversations between veterans and their loved ones, including family members, friends, colleagues, as well as mentors and mentees. With the participants' permission, StoryCorps then archived some of those recordings at the Library of Congress to be preserved for future generations.
"This project provided a unique way for us to engage with the military community, while also capturing real stories from veterans' experiences both during and after service," said Cohen Veterans Network CEO & President, Dr. Anthony Hassan. "This is a perfect way for us to convey to our clients, and others out there with similar military experiences, that they are not alone."
Over the course of just a few days, StoryCorps captured the voices of veterans in California for this project by setting up a pop up recording studio inside the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD). The stories highlighted veterans from different military affiliations and varying experiences, encouraging openness about their personal lives and topics meaningful to them.
"StoryCorps is thrilled to partner with CVN in honoring California veterans by preserving and sharing their stories, reminding them that their lives and sacrifices matter profoundly," said Robin Sparkman, CEO of StoryCorps.
From conversations recorded, three were compiled into "audio cards," electronic audio-visual slides that include photographs of the participants and produced audio segments. Ashley Tatum, navy veteran, active-duty military spouse, and case manager at the Cohen Clinic at VVSD said her experience during this project was rewarding.
"StoryCorps gave me the opportunity to share my experiences with my children in ways they hadn't heard them before," Tatum says.
“It was extraordinary to see veterans of different backgrounds walk inside the Cohen Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego and use StoryCorps as a way to convey very important moments in their lives,” said Josh Cohen, son of Steven A. Cohen, philanthropist and founder of Cohen Veterans Network. “It is clear that the Cohen Clinic is an important part of the San Diego community, and I was so humbled and proud of the work all of the clinicians and staff put into making the clinic a welcoming and safe environment for the people that need it most. I was also able to meet some of the participants and it was amazing to see them build connections with their conversation partners by talking about topics they never spoke in detail about before. In return, their loved ones embodied the true value of listening. I could tell that it was a very rewarding experience for those involved.”