In an installation called ‘A Grunt’s War Diary’, artist Folleh Tamba shares the experience of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan through drawings, sculpture, poetry, photography and entries from Tamba’s war diaries that are embedded with visual and audio.
A Grunt’s War Diary is a study of one man’s trauma. It was on display for two weeks in October at the William T. Kemper Art Gallery in the K-State student union.
When American-born Tamba was a child, his parents returned to their home in West Africa. Later, caught in the Liberian civil war, the family was forced to live in a refugee camp until the U. S. Marine Corps intervened.
When he was 18, his mother brought the family back to the United States where Tamba earned undergraduate and MFA degrees in film at Columbia College Chicago.
At age 26 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and became an infantry rifleman. He served in Iraq and completed four tours of duty.
A documentary film he directed, shot and produced called ‘Triangle of Death’ won the Founder’s Award at the GI Film Festival and several other awards in 2009.
In November, the institute was invited to be a partner for the first GratitudeAmerica Military Support Retreat at Winshape in Rome, Ga. Briana Goff and Lori Zetmeir conducted research and assisted with the small group sessions.
Similar to the institute’s Flint Hills Retreat in 2011, the retreat consisted of 12 veteran and caregiver pairs. Caregivers included primary support persons and spouses. The participants included both veteran and active duty members from all branches of the military. All veteran participants served post 9/11 in Iraq or Afghanistan and have been diagnosed with PTSD and/or a TBI.
The purpose of the retreat was to promote community based non-profit integrative intensive retreats for service members and their primary support persons in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Events consisted of group education sessions as well as several local events, including square dancing, equine therapy, a ropes course and a nature walk.
This was the fourth retreat conducted by GratitudeAmerica. The others were in Marineland, Fla. They plan to host 3-4 similar retreats in both Florida and Georgia each year.
Lori Zetmeir, our Fall 2014 intern, graduated from K-State in December with a degree in family studies and human services with a minor in leadership studies. She will continue working with us as the institute’s program assistant. She plans to begin her Master’s degree in clinical social work in the Fall 2015 to continue working with military veterans and families.