(Farmville, VA) – Faculty Emeritus of English Dr. Michael Lund has a project in the works titled “Expanding the Audience for Veterans’ Voices”, in partnership with Longwood University. The project includes a program for veterans, active military, and military families to document their life experiences in free writing formats.
Founded in 2015, the purpose of the project is to help American citizens understand the military experience that may not be witnessed in everyday life, building appreciation for history and the military within future citizen leaders.
“I feel that citizenship in a country with an all-volunteer military mandates civilian understanding of what is undertaken to protect the nation’s way of life,” Dr. Lund states. He served as an Army correspondent in Vietnam.
The website for Lund’s project, appropriately titled Home & Abroad, specifies the need for “works by military veterans and members of military families about their experiences serving their country at home and abroad”. The project puts a spotlight on local veterans in the Farmville community with the intent to highlight their contributions to Virginian and American history.
Dr. Lund’s project was funded by Virginia Humanities’ “Rapid Grant” program for Spring 2023. An earlier Virginia Humanities award in 2019 aided the printing and distribution of the written works of these Southside Virginia veterans and their families.
Virginia Humanities’ mission is to “find ways for people to share their own stories” and calls for Virginia residents to “connect with their history and culture”. According to their website, their grants are awarded to those who pursue these goals in their individual projects through the exploration of impacts of historical events today.
The exhibit featuring these writings opened on March 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Longwood University’s Greenwood Library with a background presentation from Dr. Lund, as well as a Q&A session with some of the authors. The exhibit will also be traveling to other public libraries in the region, including Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Nottoway, and Prince Edward Counties.