Central Florida veterans will share their stories of truth and courage at “Many Colors of Courage: Voices of Our Veterans,” a multimedia production of personal testimonials and live performances. Featuring veterans who shared their story with the Veterans History Project, the program gives those vets the stage to share with a wider audience an intimate look at the pride and pain of military service. The Community Veterans History Project, the UCF Department of History, Theatre UCF and the Veterans Academic Resource Center have partnered to produce the event on November 7 at 6 p.m.
“Part of our project is give veterans a voice and an opportunity to share,” says Tiffany Rivera, Assistant Director of Educational and Training Programs for the UCF Department of History. Rivera has been organizing the Veterans Month calendar of activities and helping coordinate theatrical reading. “Listening to their experiences and their stories is a way to thank them for their service.”
The School of Performing Arts’ associate professor Be Boyd is directing the veterans in the performance. For Boyd, this piece has a personal connection – her father was a medical tech in World War I, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. “I thought, ‘this is really beautiful,’” upon reading the article about the Veterans History Project in UCF’s magazine, Pegasus. She reached out to Dr. Barbara Gannon, director of the VHP, to learn more about the project and to seek ways to collaborate. “I am contacting you to see if anyone has approached you about creating a theatre project out of these memories,” Boyd’s email to Gannon and Rivera said. “I would enjoy putting together a script out of these stories.”
Boyd believes understanding others’ points of view is key to valuing them, respecting them and appreciating their stories. “It’s been very humbling – I was always aware of his sacrifice, but now I appreciate him even more,” Boyd says. “To honor those personal stories, to help the audience understand the mindset, responsibilities, challenges of veterans – it’s been incredibly rewarding.”
Several decades of service and branches of the military are represented at “Many Colors of Courage.” Boyd hopes to educate the audience about the many ways in which a veteran serves their country. “What these service members have been through … they have served us in ways we really don’t understand unless we sit down and listen to their stories,” she says.
“The Many Colors of Courage: Voices of Our Veterans”: November 7 at 6 p.m. in Visual Arts Building room 132. Free and open to the public, but please reserve your seats in advance.
Veterans Month at the University of Central Florida is a month of Honor and Remembrance. Each November, the University of Central Florida honors and remembers our nation’s veterans with events throughout the month in partnership with units across the university and community. The events provide the Central Florida community with opportunities to hear stories shared by veterans, learn about resources and programs available, and support local veterans’ causes. Ranked as one of the nation’s best universities for veterans and “Military Friendly” by G.I. Jobs magazine, UCF also provides student veterans with dedicated resources to aid them on their path to graduation.