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Event Details

All are invited to a Vets Town Hall at the McCarthy Arts Center in Colchester, Vermont. Veterans are invited to speak about what their service means to them. Non-veterans are encouraged to attend and listen. This event is non-political, and all perspectives are valued. There will be no debate on American foreign policy.

There may be an optional question-and-answer period with some of the speakers at the end of the event.

RSVPs are optional, but encouraged. Snacks will be available.

For all attendees: All community members are invited to this event. Only veterans will speak, but non-veterans are encouraged to attend and listen.

Throughout the event, you may hear something you agree or 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 please refrain from responding. We are simply here to listen and learn about what it was like to serve in the wars that this nation has chosen to fight.

For speakers: Tell us what your service means to you. Please tell us about your own experiences, whatever they may be, rather than speaking broadly about an issue or organization. You’re a member of our community, and it’s your stories, reflections, and insights that we’re anxious to hear.

Each veteran will be given up to 10 minutes to speak. (This time may vary somewhat depending on how many interested speakers we have.) Veterans who would like to speak can contact [email protected], or you can indicate interest in speaking when registering. If you’re considering speaking but prefer not to register, we encourage you to attend. After 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 do so.

Of course, veterans (and all community members) are also welcome to simply attend and listen.

If you're interested in speaking but aren't sure what to speak about, click here for some questions that can serve as starting points.

Jon Turner will host the event. Jon served with the Marines between 2003-2007 and deployed to Haiti, Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq. Since his discharge, he has traveled extensively and worked with various communities to assist in the veteran reintegration process from paper-making to outdoor recreation and farming. In 2014, Jon began to utilize the agricultural landscape as a classroom for community members interested in resilient food systems through service learning projects, internships, and site visits for K-12, college students, and military veterans. Jon is the founding and former chair of the Vermont state chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, recipient of the National Farm to School Innovations Grant, Sierra Club Military Outings Leader, and currently operates Wild Roots Community Farm in Bristol.

Thank you to:

  • Jon Turner, for hosting the event
  • Saint Michael's College Military Community Services and Student Veterans Association, our venue sponsors and local event partners
  • Community College of Vermont, for help with outreach
  • Cabot Cheese, Dakin Farm, and Krin's Bakery for providing snacks
  • Vermont Veterans Outreach Program for attending and being available to provide peer support
  • This event is supported in part by the Vermont Humanities. (Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Vermont Humanities or any other supporting organization.)
  • ...and the many individuals and organizations who have offered advice, feedback, and support

Frequently asked questionsWho is invited to attend?— ALL community members - non-veterans as well as veterans - are invited to attend and listen. The whole point of this event is to bring the community closer around veterans, so civilians play an integral part at a Vets Town Hall.Who is invited to speak?— Only veterans will speak at this event.Are children welcome at this event? — 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 this is not a rehearsed event.

Are veterans service organizations invited to table at this event?

— There won’t be any tabling at the event, in order to make sure the focus is clearly on the speakers and the experiences being shared. Of course, it’s important to share resources as well, so there will be an un-staffed general info table. Please don’t hesitate to bring brochures for this table.

Are representatives from organizations invited to speak at this event?

If your organization has representatives who are veterans, they are welcome to speak – but we ask that they speak as individuals, not on behalf of the organization.

Directions & Parking

McCarthy Arts Center is located at Saint Michael's College, off of Route 15 in Colchester. Click here for detailed directions. There will be free parking available.

Venue Information

McCarthy Arts Center Recital Hall at Saint Michael's College
1 Winooski Park
Colchester, VT 05446

Organizer Information

Vets Town Hall

PO Box 112
Richmond, VT 05477
+1 (802) 825-4389

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