© 2022 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

San Antonio International Airport exhibit gives veterans voice in song

This holiday season, there’s a new incentive to go to the airport early: a portrait exhibit showing recovering war veterans. It’s called “From War to Words – A Visual Voices Portrait Series by Jason Myers.” But the portraits themselves are only a small part of the exhibit.

San Antonio International’s Rich Stinson explains that the project is an innovative one from a nonprofit organization called CreatiVets.

Screenshot 2021-12-06 095222.jpg
Jason Myers
/
Veteran Jerry Majetich

“This particular exhibit features 11 veterans who, through the CreatiVets Music and Songwriting Program, actually were paired with Nashville recording artists and co-wrote songs with the Nashville recording artists to tell their stories,” Stinson said.

The way it worked is that veterans shared their stories with songwriters, who then wrote songs based on those experiences. At the exhibition, there is a professional Jason Myers veteran portrait, and next to the portrait the lyrics are posted in large print. There are also QR codes that passengers can scan to hear and download the songs.

Each of the 11 veterans were paired with a different songwriter. Stinson explained that the idea is to help the vets express their experiences and their feelings, which helps in their healing.

Screenshot 2021-12-06 095027.jpg
Jason Myers
/
Jerry Majetich's song
Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

“There's 11 different veterans and each of them has their own very personal and separate song that they wrote,” he said.

Two identical exhibits are in the A and B terminals. In A, it’s after the security checkpoint, allowing those killing time waiting for planes, to take their time to take it all in. In the B terminal, the exhibit is before going through security, so those wanting to see the exhibit don’t even have to be flying out. The exhibit is free, after paying for parking.

Stinson said aligning professional Nashville songwriters with the war veterans is a unique way of giving the vets a voice they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“It's an incredible opportunity because not everyone has that gift to put those thoughts and feelings and experiences into words,” he said.

The two exhibits will be up through next March.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii