Posted by Dora Dye on Jun 30, 2019
Since 2015, our Club has sponsored the Heroes’ Voices poetry and music program annually. For those of you unfamiliar with Heroes’ Voices, it is a program that connects Veterans to each other and offers workshops to engage them in music and poetry as a means of relief from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Heroes’ Voices also offers a program that provides Veterans with free guitars and free guitar lessons.

Once a year, there is a performance that is the culmination of the Heroes’ Voices National Veterans Poetry Contest, a cooperative venture between Heroes’ Voices and George Mason University. The four winning poems selected from all entries across the country are read at the performance along with musical selections.

This year the Heroes’ Voices performance in San Francisco was held on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at the Calvary Presbyterian Church. Over 15 members of our Club attended. Many donated wine for the reception or served as ushers and greeters; others like Scott Plakun and Carrie Condran LaBriola staffed the Heroes’ Voices memorabilia table while David Dye and Dora Dye staffed the table for our Club.

Rick Harrell, the Director of Heroes’ Voices and a member of our Club, was the host and one of the performers.

The four winning poems were:

  • FIRST PLACE:  For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice by Ben Weakley, Army Veteran
  • SECOND PLACE:  Things I Think About at 11:11 by Tom Laaser, Army Veteran
  • THIRD PLACE:  The Sniper’s Other Story by Michael Piotrowski, Air Force Veteran
  • FOURTH PLACE:  Walter Reed Hospital by Amber Adams, Army Veteran

All of these poems, and many others, are available at

The poetry readings and musical performances concluded with a rousing sing-along of Michael Row the Boat Ashore. A beautiful reception followed.

For more information on Heroes’ Voices, please visit

See more photos