The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.

Attention all Veterans

Veteran’s Artistic Collective

May 18, 2017


For students and veterans who are looking for a little camaraderie and a place where they can truly express without judgement? Denise Hartley, one of the professors of humanities and English here would like to introduce to you a group where you can do just that.

She is the main sponsor of a group for veterans that is for those that want to share their experiences with any kind of art be it music, painting, story writing, screenplay writing, or anything else related.

When asked what is the main purpose of this group, Hartley explained, “[Art..] makes us human… aware of our own humanity, and makes us ultimately feel not so alone and isolated in the world we live in […today].”

Any one who knows Professor Hartley knows that she has a desire to reach out and connect with veterans on a different level. She has been teaching since 1991 and here at Pierce College since 1997. She enjoys living here the most because of the diversity and the amount of support for the veterans the area has. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 9% of the population of Washington State is made up of veterans alone; that is over 645,000 veterans just in this state.

She has never had the experience of serving in the military. However, her great-grandfather fought in World War I, her uncle, a sergeant, was fought in World War II, and her father is also a vet. Sshe grew up listening to stories and they were was enough to inspire her to get more involved in understanding and assisting veterans.

Hartley does agree that there is some type of disconnect with today’s society and the ability to comprehend and reach out to veterans. There is always a “Hollywood” stereotype involved that does not truly convey what veterans experience overseas and coming home. Her favorite example is when a member of the military comes home safe and sound. She believes that expression through art can help break down that stereotype.

To be clear, this group is not just about telling war stories. Not every veteran can “open up” and talk about their past experiences easily. There is no pressure for anyone to talk if they do not want to. Professor Hartley understands that not every veteran is comfortable talking about their experiences. That is one of the main reasons for this group. It is a place where veterans from all walks of life can join and rekindle the bond of brotherhood/sisterhood they once had when they were in uniform. Active duty soldiers are welcome, too.

At this moment, there is no set time and day when the Veteran’s Artistic Collective will meet. Professor Hartley understands that everyone has a life. All she wants is for veterans and current members of the military to know she is here for you. She hopes to restart the group in the summer or fall quarter based on when schedules allow. The project is so important to Hartley, she is willing to give up her own time to make time for veterans.

If you are interested in more information, please feel free to contact Professor Hartley at

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