The power of art helps Veterans heal - Martinsburg VA Medical Center
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Martinsburg VA Medical Center

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The power of art helps Veterans heal

December 8, 2017

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The Martinsburg VA Medical Center’s Recreation Therapy Department hosted an art show Thursday, Dec. 7, at the medical center showcasing the power art has to help Veterans heal.

The show displayed works of art from many different styles including: painting, ceramics, paper mache, carving, metalwork, beadwork, flower arranging, photography, music, creative writing and singing.

Inpatient and outpatient Veterans submitted their works of art to show how they have used art to help them through the healing process. “Art helps me heal by helping me to slow down and clear my head,” said U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Johnny Williams. “I went to the hobby shop one evening to give art a try and I liked it.” Williams had several pieces in the show including a walking stick he carved and a ceramic chess set he sanded and painted.

Art not only helps Veterans heal but can help the families of Veterans heal also. U.S. Army Veteran Robert Hamill has been carving walking sticks since he first joined the Army in 1977. What first started as a hobby to pass time during breaks in training, turned into a form of therapy and a calling. For the past 14 years Hamill has felt a calling to create walking sticks for the mothers of fallen Servicemembers. “Each stick is unique just like each Servicemember is unique,” said Hamill. “This is my way of honoring them and saying ‘thank you for your service.’”

Veterans interested in joining any of the medical center’s Recreation Therapy programs, such as the Hobby Shop and Music Room, simply need to request a consult from their primary care physician at their next appointment.