The T.A.G.S. Salute to Veterans
Southwest Tennessee Community College and the University of Memphis have joined forces to present T.A.G.S. (Transformation Through Acceptance, Guidance and Spirit), a tribute to military veterans. T.A.G.S. is a production/discussion honoring veterans, especially those living survivors of the Vietnam Era – some 40 years after the signing of the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam. In commemoration of Veteran's month, U of M and Southwest will sponsor events on throughout the day on November 11 at the University of Memphis, and November 13, 14 and 15 at Southwest.
The production will feature poetry readings by Arthur "Doc" Flowers, poet, novelist, Blues Man, and Vietnam veteran. The production will also include a one-man show, Was Blind But Now I See, co-written by Southwest Instructor Levi Frazier Jr. and JO'Sei Ikeda, Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient. The one man performance is based on Ikeda's life, including his Vietnam tour and his immediate return to civilian life.
A discussion will follow each performance to give veterans a forum to express their feelings about their war experiences and their return to civilian life. The discussions also serve as a means to enlighten the audience about the challenges the men and women faced who served their country during an unpopular and undeclared war.
The T.A.G.S. tribute coincides with the efforts of the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs to let Veterans know that they are recognized, appreciated, and supported by their community for the sacrifices they have made for its freedom and to promote community awareness for these sacrifices.