This morning we were honored to be part of a gathering of veterans and program staff at the San Francisco V.A. Medical Center, where BAVC Media was awarded a Golden Gate Bridge Award “for outstanding efforts in expanding social, leisure, or work connections within the community.” Our work with veterans is through an ongoing partnership with the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC), an important set of services and programs that support veterans who have mental illness.
At the event, several veterans who have been through these outstanding recovery programs received awards recognizing their individual and personal achievements; and they were given with heartfelt wishes of continued success in the community by the program staff who have come to know them, and who know how hard they have worked to get here.
The vets who were honored spoke about their experiences, and some reported being on a long journey of recovery from addiction and mental illness. They were grateful for the support and thoughtfulness of the V.A. staff, and said it was life-changing, and in come cases life-saving, for them. One veteran who participated in our storytelling project last year, Don, said he wouldn’t be here today without the V.A. Another, Dave Fish (who completed an artistic and poetic digital story in our workshop, pictured below) was recognized for his artwork and performance as part of “Celebrating the Art of Service” at Mission Cultural Center earlier this year (covered here on SFGate). The Veterans Community Media Center (at 1720 Market, the former home of public access TV) was also awarded a Golden Gate Bridge Award, and pointed out the many community events taking place to promote creative expression and the voices of vets.
We are honored to play our part in supporting the PRRC and the vets they serve, and look forward to the work ahead as we embark on SF Stories: Shared Experiences [internal link: http://bavc.org/independentmedia/digitalstorytelling/] together over the next two years. There are many more stories waiting to be told by creative, engaged veterans.