Playlist (7 talks)
Talks for veterans

These talks honor those who have fought for their country while shedding light on what coming home from war means for many whose wounds are more than skin-deep.
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Playlist (7 talks): Talks for veterans

  • 14:27
    Now playing
    Wes Moore joined the US Army to pay for college, but the experience became core to who he is. In this heartfelt talk, the paratrooper and captain—who went on to write "The Other Wes Moore"—explains the shock of returning home from Afghanistan. He shares the single phrase he heard from civilians on repeat, and shows why it's just not sufficient. It's a call for all of us to ask veterans to tell their stories — and listen.
  • 4:59
    Now playing
    After fighting overseas, 92 percent of American veterans say they want to continue their service. Meanwhile, one after another, natural disasters continue to wreak havoc worldwide. What do these two challenges have in common? In telling the story of his friend Clay Hunt, Jake Wood from Team Rubicon reveals how veterans can contribute to disaster response — and regain their sense of purpose, community and self-worth.
  • 13:28
    Now playing
    Sebastian Junger has seen war up close, and he knows the impact that battlefield trauma has on soldiers. But he suggests there's another major cause of pain for veterans when they come home: the experience of leaving the tribal closeness of the military and returning to an alienating and bitterly divided modern society. "Sometimes, we ask ourselves if we can save the vets," Junger says. "I think the real question is if we can save ourselves." (This talk comes from the PBS special "TED Talks: War & Peace," which premieres Monday, May 30 at 9 p.m. EST.)
  • 15:30
    Now playing
    In April 2003, just as American troops began rolling into Baghdad, a shell smashed into the building author and war correspondent Jean-Paul Mari was reporting from. There he had a face-to-face encounter with death, beginning his acquaintance with a phantom that has haunted those who have risked their lives on battlefields since ancient times. "What is this thing that can kill you without leaving any visible scars?" Mari asks. We know it as post-traumatic stress disorder — or, as Mari describes it, an experience with the void of death. In this probing talk, he searches for answers to questions about mortality and psychosis and in the aftermath of horror and trauma.
  • 18:02
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    Before he fought in the galactic battles of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Adam Driver was a United States Marine with 1/1 Weapons Company. He tells the story of how and why he became a Marine, the complex transition from soldier to civilian — and Arts in the Armed Forces, his nonprofit that brings theater to the military. Because, as he says: "Self-expression is just as valuable a tool as a rifle on your shoulder." Followed by a spirited performance of Marco Ramirez's "I am not Batman" by Jesse J. Perez and Matt Johnson. (Adult language)
  • 9:48
    Now playing
    Trauma silences its victims, says creative arts therapist Melissa Walker, but art can help those suffering from the psychological wounds of war begin to open up and heal. In this inspiring talk, Walker describes how mask-making, in particular, allows afflicted servicemen and women reveal what haunts them — and, finally, start to let it go.
  • 10:31
    Now playing
    Before soldiers are sent into combat, they're trained on how to function in an immensely dangerous environment. But they also need training on how to return from the battlefield to civilian life, says psychologist Hector Garcia. Applying the same principles used to prepare soldiers for war, Garcia is helping veterans suffering from PTSD get their lives back.