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From left,Taylor Gordon, Roman Baca and Lisa Fitzgerald perform an expressive recital at the first National Military Experience & the Arts Symposium held in Kentucky.Theater actor and performance artist Doug Berky will utilize universalthemed, ancient stories to address veterans and military families during a symposium Saturday.

Military Experience will be held at CU this week

The Military Experience & the Arts (MEA) will strive to bridge the gap between military and civilian cultures with its second national symposium experience this week at Cameron University, 2800 W. Gore.

The four-day event will take place from 7:30-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The general registration fee is $20; active-duty service members and spouses with a military ID may participate at no charge.

"The educational event, geared toward military veterans and families throughout the state of Oklahoma, as well as the general public seeking a better understanding of how veterans cope within the military environment, is a golden opportunity to allow artistic inclinations to blossom through more than 70 thought-provoking workshops," said Robin Brooks, public affairs director.

Those workshops will be offered in a variety of genres and taught by more than 20 instructors who specialize in different areas. Midday and nightly events and performances will be open to the public at no cost and Oklahoma veterans interested in registering may also receive assistance with lodging, meals, transportation and post-traumatic stress services. Special guests include Benjamin Patton, the youngest grandson of Gen. George S. Patton Jr.; Doug Berky, theatrical artist; and Roman Baca, choreographer and performer.

Cameron University instructor and Purple Heart recipient Jason Poudrier has been on the this year as director of events. He attended the first national symposium in Kentucky in 2012, which he said attracted more than 160 participants, and believes hosting the MEA's next major event in a military town will provide educational opportunities to even more individuals.

"Lawton and Fort Sill are so interconnected," Poudrier said. "This event will help not only vets, but families and community members as well."

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