war veterans

Duane Shank 1-26-2012

A moving feature piece in Thursday's Washington Post described a program that is helping veterans make the transition from war to civilian life through the arts — specifically music. 

Staff Sergeant Kenneth Sargent sustained a serious spinal injury during a rocket attack in Iraq. After his struggle to walk again while readjusting to civilian life, he wanted to show the country doesn’t understand its soldiers and what they went through. So, he recently spent a weekend at a retreat near Colorado Spring sponsored by LifeQuest Transitions, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering veterans.

Paired with professional songwriters, Sargent began to tell his story. As the words came out, the writers “pick them up, assign them a shape, a melody, bending them into rhyme. Ninety minutes later, they’ve finished ‘It Is What It Is,’ a song about a soldier finally embarking on the homeward journey that he’s long anticipated — but in a medevac helicopter.”

Gareth Higgins 6-29-2011

1100629-gandhifilmAh the joy of watching movies in the summer! Of course, there are a number of summer blockbusters coming out that will woo crowds to the theaters, but with the sky-high prices of theater tickets these days, nobody will fault you for wanting to stay home and kick back with a rental. If you're looking for a film that will entertain and inspire you, consider adding some of these excellent films about social change to your online queue. If you have any other films to add to this list, please contribute your favorites in the comments section below. (To read more of my film reviews, check out my monthly column in Sojourners magazine.)