My name is Rick Lawson. I am a service-disabled Iraq War veteran reaching out to ask for your support of my upcoming talk that will take place on Saturday October 20th from 1:30 – 2:30pm at 411 Union St. in Seattle. This talk will be about my experience returning from my deployment to Iraq, and my frustration returning to a society where people ask questions like “Did you ever kill anyone?” or “Did you ever see anyone die?”. I will explain how these types of questions led me to become more reclusive in an attempt to avoid having to interact with people who just don’t get it (those who haven’t served). Most importantly though, I will talk about how I found a way, through art, to build a conversation between the military and civilian communities that I and many other veterans could not and cannot have through words. I hope you will be able to come, and show your support as a veteran, because these kinds of discussions are important and as you know, they can be difficult to have. The talk will last 20-30 minutes with the remainder of the hour opened up for discussion between and among those in the audience and myself. I hope you will consider participating and sharing something!
The War Experience Project “inFORMATION”, is an art exhibit of military-veteran painted uniforms I began in 2008 after realizing that the uniform is what those who haven’t served don’t understand. They do not understand the committment and sacrifice that goes into that service, nor the continued burden that we carry as veterans for the rest of our lives whether we have seen “combat” or not. This is why I decided the uniform was what I wanted to tell my story through, and have been asking other veterans to do the same, in what has now become a sizeable collective art exhibit made by those who served. Additionally, family members, friends, and everyone from the community can participate by painting a quilting square which is then sewn into a garment bag to protect the uniforms as they travel in exhibition. This is an important discussion being started using art as the catalyst! I hope you will be able to attend!