Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer

///My Father's War

My Father's War

A Story of War, Survival, and Grace


Please know that your tax deductible donations help us bring the healing power of My Father's War to as many veterans as possible - free of charge -  as well as to their families and communities.  


Thank you to the following folks for their generous support of our vision in the last few weeks. My Father's War will continue to reach veterans, their families and communities, and all of us who need to understand what it is we ask from those who serve. More news soon

Laura Skaug, Tina LaFevor, Lauren Buchner, David and Sandy Winters, Nagendra Ramanna, Lane Wright, Leigh Jones, Loryn Longbrake, Shawn Knight, Tina LaFevor, Loryn Longbrake, Leah Lowe, Barbara Borrelli, Kathy Plourde, Ellen Gilbert, Leslie Worsley-Hynd, Tom Baker, Kevin Harper, DiAnne Patrick, Marcia Williams (twice!), Sara and Herschel Ponder, Susan and Mike Stevenson, Tica Gibson, Bill Velez and Terry Occhiogrosso, Karen Renner, LeAnn Binford, Susan Bell, Maggie Pitt, Vicki Greene, Amy Seals, Bill Compton, Thelma Kidd, Lara and David Coniglio, Andrew Michaels, Roxanne Kiefer, Steve Walls, Jean Roseman, Alice Merritt,  Em Chitty, Judith Draper, John Blair Brewer, and Betty Little. 

We would also like to thank the anonymous donors who have made contributions online and offline.

You may always make a secure, online, tax-deductible contribution to support My Father's War - performances, workshops, residencies and all - at time you like at this online address - and thank you!

All contributions will help us bring services FREE TO VETERANS

and make the performances with discussions and creative workshops affordable for everyone. 


Our Vision: To be a catalyst for healing and reintegration for veterans of all ages within their families and communities; to raise awareness in all audiences of what we ask from those who serve.


Our Mission: Through performances of the highest quality, post-show discussions, and creative workshops, to honor and serve our veterans and to help our communities process the social and cultural effects of war with integrity, in an honest and responsible manner.

Go here for a short video:



"Wow! What an awe-inspiring performance! My Father's War was one of the more memorable performances at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in recent years.  The post-show discussions were equally as amazing...If you serve in a State Veterans Home, VA Medical Center, or you provide care for Veterans, My Father's War is a must see!"  Reinaldo Roman: Voluntary Service Specialist, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System


      Imagine that you are a veteran and that you have held your story inside ever since you experienced the heroism, humor, and horror of war.  It doesn't matter which war, from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan.  The seen and unseen wounds of war affect veterans and their families in every generation and in all wars.  What does matter is that sharing, talking about the experiences and personal consequences of war, may very well be the way to begin healing from them.


      My Father's War is a catalyst for this healing.  It is a two-person storytelling performance adapted from my (Carol's) father's WWII memoir which he titled Ponder Anew What the Almighty Can Do.  Robert becomes Lt. Herschel Ponder, telling his story with words chosen verbatim from the memoir.  I provide a narrative context and beautiful, emotion-filled songs and underscoring from the period and from my family's home in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. 


Witnessing the live performance of my father's story inspires veterans of all ages to begin talking about their own wars.

      When they begin to talk they can begin to heal, especially from unseen wounds like Post Traumatic Stress or PTS.  For non-veterans, My Father's War offers an opportunity to understand what it is we ask of those who serve.


"At the heart of all good theater is a great story.  And My Father's War certainly fits that description - thanks to the considerable talents of esteemed artists (and husband-and-wife team) Robert Kiefer and Carol Ponder....  Balancing humor and horror, Ponder's matter-of-fact recollections are intensely personal.  And yet the tone is familiar to anyone whose life has been touched by war....  My Father's War honors the great tradition of storytelling."  Amy Stumpfl: Theater Review, Nashville Tennessean


After the discussion, creative writing and performing workshops focus and deepen the healing and understanding for all audiences.  Participants create short works of art (poems, memoir events, songs) in response to My Father's War that are also grounded in personal experience.  With coaching in aspects of performance, they then share their work with the group.  In clinical settings, we work with mental health professionals present. They are enthusiastic about the healing power of My Father's War - performances, discussions, and workshops. 


As of today, we have have provided over 100 performances of My Father's War in seven states - all with discussions and many with workshops. With your help, we can partner with Veterans Administration facilities and other organizations who serve veterans, as well as schools, universities, arts centers, houses of worship, and non-traditional theatrical venues all over the country. Please help us bring the healing power of Lt. Herschel Ponder's story to diverse audiences everywhere.


Make your secure, online tax-deductible contribution at

Thank you for your support!