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caption: Shawn Wong
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Shawn Wong
Credit: Bill Radke

Helping psychologically wounded veterans break the silence

Seattle novelist Shawn Wong helps traumatized veterans find their voices and in his own writing, he tries to understand the silences.

Novelist Shawn Wong got a call from his friend, actor Tom Skerrit. Skerrit told him that traumatized veterans were killing themselves; they needed someone to hear their story.

“We’re storytellers. Let's teach them how to tell their own story,” Skerritt said.

The work they started at Joint Base Lewis-McChord became the Red Badge Project. Meanwhile, Wong has had his own trauma, and silences. As he tells the story, “I looked down at my watch and realized, I've been standing in the canned food aisle for 20 minutes. I’d better go talk to somebody.’”