Veterans Talking To Veterans at the National Museum of Military Vehicles will be back in 2024!
The National Museum of Military Vehicles hosted the Veterans Talking to Veterans event on Memorial Day weekend 2023 and will host the 2024 event. Organized by the Wyoming Veterans Commission, Mentor Agility, and the National Museum of Military Vehicles, the event aimed to showcase the impact of Veterans Talking to Veterans and raise awareness about the crisis of loneliness, isolation, and suicide among Veterans.
VTTV Graduation 2023
The event commenced with Governor Mark Gordon and the First Lady Jennie Gordon as distinguished guests, opening the ceremonies. Lee Alley, a highly decorated Army veteran and author of "Back from War: Finding Hope and Understanding in Life After Combat," delivered a commencement speech. Conrad Washington, the Director for the VA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP), shared insights into the broad range of national VA resources available to Veterans through partnerships with local organizations nationwide.
As part of the event, a graduation ceremony for Veterans Talking to Veterans took place. Governor Mark Gordon awarded the diplomas to the graduates, recognizing their commitment to becoming trauma-informed coaches and their dedication to supporting fellow Veterans.
Veterans Resource Fair
The event sought to address the challenges faced by Veterans in accessing support and combat the epidemic of loneliness, isolation, and suicide. Recognizing the rural nature of Wyoming, which often posed difficulties in accessing services, the event brought together innovative approaches to support Veterans and their families. The Veterans Talking to Veterans event at the National Museum of Military Vehicles featured a Veterans Resource Fair, connecting Veterans to national and state resources. Over forty state and national organizations showed their support for Veterans, showcased their work, and offered assistance to improve the lives of Veterans.
A Community Event
The event began with a performance by the Big Wind Singers, one of the longest-standing Shoshone Song groups from Crowheart. Consisting of both Veterans and tribal members, they presented colors and performed the Shoshone Flag Song, Honor Song, and Soldier Boy Song.
Notably, Wyoming PBS premiered "State of Mind: The Battle Inside - Veterans and PTSD," a powerful documentary. Veterans Talking to Veterans and Hunting for Heroes were featured. The film was followed by a guided conversation between the audience, filmmaker Mat Hames, Dr. Julie Elledge from Veterans Talking to Veterans, and a panel of experts, providing a deeper understanding of the issue.
Gracious Host National Museum of Military Vehicles
The National Museum of Military Vehicles, located in Dubois, Wyoming, provided the perfect setting for the event. It boasted the largest collection of U.S. military rolling vehicles outside of the armed forces, with a mission to honor the service and sacrifice of Veterans and their families. Situated amidst the scenic beauty of the Wind River Valley, Dubois retained the authentic feel of the wild frontier, making it a charming and fitting host for the event.