By: Elayseah Woodard-Hinton
During my time in the Army, I had the honor of being surrounded by many artistically talented individuals; something I discovered while on a 15-month deployment to Camp Arifjan back in 2008.
During this time we were in the middle of preparing for the draw down in Iraq; while still heavily fighting in Afghanistan.
With Kuwait bordering Iraq and being a hop, skip, and jump away from Afghanistan by way of Iran, Camp Arifjan was very transient in nature. Military personnel from all over the world were constantly going to or coming from one of these two turbulent countries, with Kuwait being their pit stop in between.
As you can imagine, the Military personnel stationed at Camp Arifjan were kept very busy playing their part by managing the logistics of the chaotic war. The saving grace for many people while I was stationed there laid in a well known coffee shop in the middle of the sand filled base.
Once-a-week Military personnel from all over the world would pack into the dimly lit shop for poetry night. Here they were able to witness their colleagues transform from the rigid nature, that is often expected while uniformed, to a gifted mastermind who has been given a few moments to express themselves creatively.
When time would permit, I enjoyed stopping in to see a few of my favorites.
When I think of someone with artistic raw talent, Flenardo Taylor immediately comes to mind. Flenardo would often request random audience members give him a word to play with. Without missing a beat he would quickly take that topic and speak an entire poem with so much passion that you would think he was telling his own life story.
In thinking of a multi-talented force, my mind immediately goes to Ivey Tanner. Ivey is a woman of natural beauty and tremendous inner strength who made frequent appearances at poetry night. She was blessed with a gift to sing, dance, and express her poetic soul.
These two non-commissioned officers, are just a tip of the iceberg in artistic talent pool that the Military has to offer.
On Monday, March 7, 2016, I will be sharing the story of Staff Sergeant Brooks Fletcher, a man with creative perception and talent for the visual arts.
Brooks will be embarking on his Veteran status this Spring; and I am happy to have the opportunity to share with everyone on Veterans In Demand how he plans to take his passion for his craft to the next level!