It’s always a pleasure to highlight the accomplishments of MEA contributors, especially when they emerge as leaders in the veteran community. BriGette McCoy is one such example, testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee this social media peer-supporter and founder of “Women Veteran Social Justice” gained national attention:
BriGette speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee:
This is my story but it is not mine alone. More than 19,000 men and women every year share similar stories … Let’s deal with this from the roots. Please make it stop.
BriGette speaking on Huffpost Live:
They will go as far as murder to make sure you don’t talk.
BriGette had the following to say about her participation in 2012’s Military Experience and the Arts Symposium:
Last year I attended the MEA at Eastern Kentucky University.
I was completely blown away by the scope and magnitude–the productions, planning, training, and caliber of people created a welcoming and inviting experience, especially to women veterans.
The workshops were inclusive of women veterans of all eras and backgrounds, even those with physical and emotional disabilities. This was the first workshop I engaged in that addressed those issues in such a structured way. I was given plenty of room to grow artistically and find my niche. Creative individual expression was welcomed and nurtured. The expansive atmosphere welcomed me to become part of the larger veteran arts community.
I cant say enough how awesome the experience was. It has inspired me to participate in more programs directly connected to the mission of Military Experience and the Arts.
MEA and the JME gave me, a veteran writer, the opportunity to have my works critiqued by peers and reviewed for academic publishing. Currently, some of my poetry and writing is in review for Blue Steak: A Journal of Military Poetry, something I could have only dreamed about before attending the MEA symposium. Without the welcoming atmosphere there and the collaborative approach of the MEA editorial staff, I would not have had the courage to submit my works.
I believe I have grown as an artist by attending the MEA Symposium and I have also grown as a person. My community of support has enlarged, positively impacting my overall quality of life. Programs like this aren’t band aids. They are healing salves. I’m glad I was able to participate and look forward to the next MEA symposium in 2014.