When COVID19 restrictions prevented in-person meetings, the group continued to meet monthly via Zoom and membership expanded across state lines. When Suzanne Moore, current Wilkes County Librarian, left her former job as Ashe County Librarian, the idea to connect this book club across county lines seemed a natural progression.
In service, soldiers develop friendships with comrades from across all fifty states. As veterans, it doesn’t matter where you live, or even what branch you served under, the common experience of military service is the uniting factor. Talking Service Book Club is for veterans, as well as their families, friends, service providers, and caregivers.
Throughout the last year, book club members have read a variety of selections from Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian, an anthology published by the Great Books Foundation. The selections from this collection of works ranges from Homer’s Iliad to recent memoirs by veterans of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other books have been suggested and veteran authors have been invited to share their published work as well. The readings serve as an entry for veterans to talk candidly about their own experiences.
Meetings are scheduled for the second Friday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Ashe County veterans are looking forward to meeting Wilkes County veterans at the next meeting, on August 13. There will be an in-person group meeting at the Wilkes County Public Library and an in-person group meeting at the Ashe County DAV Headquarters, simultaneously, and through the magic of Internet, the two groups will zoom with each other for a simulating conversation. Veterans who wish to join from their homes or other locations can call 336.838.2818 to register for a virtual invitation.
The selection for August is a short story by Ken Rodgers, entitled Post Traumatic (to be published in the Limberlost Review). Copies of this story can be picked up at Wilkes County Public Library or emailed on request. Ken is a Marine veteran who, served in Vietnam. He has been part of the Talking Service Book Club, zooming with the group from Boise, Idaho. He will be visiting the area in-person this November to screen his documentary Bravo! Common Men Uncommon Valor