Yes! The whole point of Vets Town Halls is to increase communication and understanding between veterans and civilians in their communities.
Listening without judgment or interruption is one of the most powerful and supportive acts a person can offer, and that is what is expected of veterans and non-veterans alike. You may hear something you disagree with, you may have a question, or you may want to say encouraging words with the intention to help. However, we ask that you refrain from commenting in any way during the event. If veterans wish to continue a conversation with you afterward, that is entirely up to them. But the point of this event is simply to give veterans a chance to speak, and to bring the community closer around them.
It’s okay to leave the auditorium and come back. This isn’t a performance; it’s a public gathering, and the aim is that it be respectful but relaxed.
Your children are welcome to attend with you, but when deciding whether or not to bring them, please be aware that speakers will address serious topics and that these events are not rehearsed.
Generally speaking, after all veterans who want to speak have done so, the event is over.
Thank you for your interest in these events! Your help getting the word out and sharing the import of these events is invaluable. Given the deeply personal nature of the speakers’ comments, we ask that you please respect the privacy of these veterans by checking in with the event host and/or with the veterans themselves if they want to be on the record. Each speaker has the option of having the media turn their video cameras off – and, of course, to remain unnamed. We also ask that any videotaping should be done as unobtrusively as possible.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and so we can connect you with your local event organizer.
The idea behind a Vets Town Hall is to give vets of all eras a chance to address the community directly and without intermediaries. As a speaker at a Vets Town Hall, you will be given up to 10 minutes to talk about what it was like to serve your country. All perspectives are valued.
We ask that you tell us about your own experiences, whatever they may be, rather than speaking broadly about an issue or an organization. Please also keep in mind that these events are non-political and non-commercial.
Attendees are asked to refrain from commenting in any way during the event. There will be no discussion of U.S. foreign policy, no debate on the merits or justifications of war.
If you are a veteran who would like to register to speak, you find information on your local town hall here. Registration is optional, but does help organizers plan. If you’re considering speaking but would prefer not to register, we encourage you to attend. After all pre-registered speakers go, the host will take speakers from the floor, time permitting. The goal is for every veteran who would like to speak to have a chance to. Of course, veterans are also welcome simply to attend and listen.
While all veterans are welcome to speak, veterans (and community members) are also welcome to simply attend and listen.
Absolutely. All community members are welcomed to these events, and speakers and attendees are welcome and encouraged to attend with friends, family, and others who may offer support.
Many events will also have peer support present. Please contact your local event organizer for details.
Only those who have served in the armed forces may speak at these events, and we ask that speakers focus on their own individual experiences, reflections, and insights (rather than speaking on behalf of others or an organization).