Helping veterans get over the trauma of war and reintegrate into society is the goal of an event taking place in San Francisco this evening, a day before the nation marks Veterans Day.

“Voices of Veterans: A Welcome Home Ceremony” will feature 18 veterans who will share their stories from the battlefield and what it’s like to come home, said Rosie Cullen, a member of the Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, the Seattle-based group organizing the event.

The veterans–who have served during past wars like the Vietnam and Gulf wars, or been deployed more recently to Iraq or Afghanistan–went on a five-day retreat that ended today at Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, where they talked about trauma recovery, Cullen said.

Cullen said telling their stories to the public will benefit both the veterans and the audience.

“The goal is both for the veterans to be able to share the traumatic and very hard experiences they’ve been through, both being in war and coming back from war and not really having an open forum to share the hardships they’ve had–and also for the community to realize what the experience was like for them,” Cullen said.

She said the event would hopefully “give a true welcome back for these veterans, especially Vietnam veterans who have felt like they’ve never been truly welcomed back.”

The event, hosted by Vietnam vet and author Michael Meade, is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Church at 1187 Franklin St. in San Francisco.

Tickets cost $12 for the general public, but veterans can get in free.

For more information about the event or to buy tickets, call (800) 233-6984 or go to

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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