Opinion: War-weary veterans need the fulfilling effect of arts in their lives

Veteran teaches dance

Choreographer and Marine Roman Baca prepares students for a dance and movement performance at Edison High School in Queens, N.Y. (Peter Hvizdak / New Haven Register)

More than 2.4 million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. As a country, we have largely come to know them through caricatures on television and in the movies. They are Rangers and SEALs, the proud and the few, macho and elite.

Perhaps because of these media caricatures of the warrior machine, we seem not to understand that veterans have real, full lives that can be reflected better in, and be better enriched by, the arts.

It’s little known that, through three centuries of war, the arts have found a home in our military. The ennobling sense of calm, control and beauty that all of us experience when we reach for a book or listen to a symphony is equally if not more vital to men or women who have been to battle.

Read more about Roman Baca and the importance of the arts to veterans in the New York Daily News.

For more, read another story about Roman Baca, one of American Homecomings’ featured veterans.

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