Staten Island OutLOUD hosted a community forum on veterans’ issues: “Honoring Sacrifice and Service”, a gathering for veterans, their families and friends, and for anyone who cares about veterans, on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts.
We drew a diverse audience of veterans and civilians, ranging in age from teens to seniors. Our conference offered helpful information for veterans on local resources, and it crossed academic disciplines. OutLOUD featured academics, veterans, a playwright, an artist/therapist. We explored compelling issues that matter to veterans and their loved ones, but our event appealed to artists as well, because our panelists bridged art, literature and science.
Panelists included CSI Professors Frank Battaglia and Richard Currie, Staten Island playwright/Vietnam veteran Michael Sulsona, and therapist/artist Joyce Malerba Goldstein, M.S. Prof. Battaglia examined the challenges of PTSD for veterans and their loved ones, with a special focus on several chapters in The Things They Carried. Prof. Currie contrasted the experiences of two Vietnam-era inductees: Tim O’Brien, who was sent to combat, and a young man who received a deferment for graduate studies. Playwright Michael Sulsona is a Staten Island writer whose plays have been produced throughout the country. A National Endowment for the Arts awardee, Mr. Sulsona is a Marine veteran who lost both legs in Vietnam. His recovery was featured in the film Hearts and Minds. Sulsona shared his personal thoughts on combat and homecoming..
Joyce Malerba Goldstein, M.S., is a psychotherapist and artist who works closely with veterans of all eras, most recently with vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A licensed family therapist, she has also worked extensively with firefighters and other 9/11 first responders and their families. As an artist, Ms. Goldstein has exhibited her works widely; she is the founder of Art By the Ferry and the Staten Island Creative Community.