WARR ACRES, OKLAHOMA -- A book signing is a strange new experience for 22 writers who gathered at the Higher Grounds coffee ship in Warr Acres.
All of them are new at published writing, but all of them are veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
Their stories come together in a new book called 'Resilient Warriors'.
This volume is the second written by veterans and put compiled by a unique group called Books By Vets whose mission is to help former military personnel through often traumatic experiences through the act of writing.
"Writing tends to be very therapeutic," says Books By Vets founder Shannon Whittington. "You can purge your pain knowing that you're sharing it with other people. Letting them know you're not alone, you're giving purpose to their pain."
Bobbie Reed joined the Army right out of high school on the run from an abusive parent.
She signed on to a military ready to integrate with male service members.
As a single mom of four it wasn't always easy.
"I had to sign custody over to someone else," she recalls during the run-up to Operation Desert Storm. "In case I got called up I had to be ready to go in less than 2 hours."
Judy Kautz' husband was already in the Air Force when she signed on.
For thirty years she specialized in maintenance and logistics, deploying as a fifty-nine year old officer to the Middle East.
"In the desert with all these kids," she smiles. "It was a wonderful experience."
Lisa Jackson also wrote a chapter.
She is a four year Army veteran who suffers from PTSD after Desert Storm.
She writes about her experiences in basic training.
"I feel that everyone has a story in life," she says. "And, especially as a veteran, we have a story as well.
I think, sometimes, we just want to tell that story."
Their stories are meant to help others as well as themselves.
'Resilient Warriors' is published through Books By Vets which is a non-profit organization.
Form more information about the organization or to order go to www.booksbyvets.org