Here at The Freq, we’re dedicated to giving a platform so that veterans may express themselves creatively. There are all sorts of platforms; here a few of them, and why we think they’re important:
There were a whole slew of war poets during the first World War. A favorite of mine was Ruperte Brooke, and his poem entitled “Safety” — I carried that poem through my deployments to Afghanistan. But warrior poets go back much further than that — in fact, warrior poets (or bards) date back to, well, at least as far back as people were writing stuff down. Our current situation of separating the artists and poets from the warriors is something new, and we have found ourselves insinuating that delving into the soul and mind is for the “artist-types” instead of the “warrior types,” whatever that means.
We would love to see a resurgence of the warrior poets. We want to see veterans write their poetry and publish it, showing their family, friends, and The Freq’s general audience their sliver of the human experience. I’ve got a couple on the way that I’ve written over the years; our Editor-in-Chief, Theo Dyssean, regularly publishes his poetry here.
This is where you write a story (fiction or not), and you submit each installment as separate articles. Have an idea about an alien invasion and the military’s fight back? Write each article on separate stages of the fight. Have an idea about a deployed soldier’s escapades through Afghanistan? Make it funny, make it sad — we love both!
I’m always hesitant with this one, and I’m sure a lot of you understand me there. You might be tired of the memoirs or the constant barrage of novels that might as well be titled, “I’m not a hero, but look at all the heroic things I’ve done.” However, it’s important to understand that without these stories all we would have are the generals and politicians controlling the narrative. All future historians would know would be the stories of those who weren’t in the trenches themselves.
Don’t want to get caught up in telling your own story? Tell the stories of others. Tell the stories of your friend who pushed everyone else to be successful in basic training. Tell the story of a private who pulled an officer out of a burning Humvee. Or tell your own story. It could be a big moment in your life, or it could be a small, brief moment that stood out. We’ll read it, and our readers will love it.
A shorter version of serial fiction. Again, write about a singular moment — a single moment can explain certain things simple facts cannot. Write about a soldier named John who feels an RPG fly past his face. Describe that moment in the utmost detail — from the physical grit to the thumping in his heart — and you’ll have described a facet of modern combat better than a history book ever could.
Or write about a boy burying his dog; boiling down the feelings of grief that you may have felt in the military, taking them out of the context of the military entirely, and understanding them through the eyes of a child.
Or describe a funny moment between two soldiers in WWII, shivering their asses off, chuckling about the same things we chuckle about today. Show us that though the tools of war change, the people never really do.
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If you have something to say — something that the world needs to hear — then say it. These are just creative ways of doing that without getting mired in the fruitless, political bantering of today’s world. It’s a way of connecting to audiences from all walks of life and showing them a bit about the things dear to your own heart.
Hit us with your submissions at: