At these events, veterans are invited to speak, unscripted, about what their service means to them – to share a story, summary of service, message, letter home, excerpt from a war journal, or even the story behind a photograph. Non-veterans are invited to attend and to listen.

For updates on future events in Vermont, please sign up for the email list in the sidebar of this page. This year’s town halls, originally scheduled for November 8th, 2020, are postponed due to the pandemic – but multiple events are in the works for 2021. It’s my hope that, by November 2021, we’ll be able to get together again for local, in-person town halls. Meanwhile, we considered a virtual event, but in the hopes of gathering in person, safely, we’re working on the possibility of an outdoor town hall in early summer 2021.

2018 Burlington Veterans Town Hall host Jon Turner at Contois Auditorium. Photo courtesy of Thomas Shahan, Community College of Vermont.

In a June 2015 Vanity Fair article, Sebastian Junger highlighted the challenges of post-traumatic stress among veterans. He suggested “making every town and city hall in the country available to veterans who want to speak publicly about the war.” He believed holding these community forums would “return the experience of war to our entire nation, rather than just leaving it to the people who fought.” U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA), a Marine combat veteran, hosted the first Veterans Town Hall in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 2015.

2018 Burlington Veterans Town Hall. Photo Courtesy of Thomas Shahan, CCV.

The first event of this kind in Vermont was held in November 2017 in Burlington. In November 2018, Veterans Town Hall events were held in both Burlington and Rutland. November 2019 brought events in three locations: Colchester, Rutland, and St. Johnsbury.

If you’d like to learn more, check out the FAQ page and browse through the press coverage for previous events. If you’re interested in starting an event in your hometown, information and resources are available here. These events are only possible thanks to a generous amount of help and good advice:  Find out some ways to get involved on the volunteer page, and visit this page to provide feedback. Please also don’t hesitate to get in touch at kristen.eaton@gmail.com with any questions or suggestions.