Whether it’s flashbacks to war’s nightmares or the lingering pain of battle injuries, the stories of soldiers bringing their trauma home with them are numerous.
We see these sad tales as regular reports in the nightly news, or building the narrative thread through documentaries highlighting the dark side of war’s other casualties — the walking wounded.
It’s easy to feel sympathy for these veterans. But empathy? That’s not always as simple.
“There’s a notion about soldiers in this country by non-military and civilians — ‘I can’t understand your trauma. I can’t understand your pain,’ ” said Maurice Emerson Decaul, a Marine veteran, poet, essayist and playwright.
That’s where the play “Holding it Down: The Veterans' Dream Project” can help.
A multimedia performance that combines music with the spoken-word poetry/testimonials of minority veterans, “Holding it Down” shares the lived experience of war through the prism of dreams — or nightmares.
“You might not be able to understand how to feel about the way someone feels, but everyone, whether you’re a soldier or not, can relate to dreams,” Decaul said.