“Creating” a New Lease on Life

It’s a new year, and a renewed time for veterans in care at VA Hospitals nationwide to test their creative mettle… During January, February and March, veterans enrolled at VA medical facilities or outpatient clinics are invited to enter their art, music, dance, drama and creative writing entries into the local competition phase of the 2017 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition.  A longtime supporter of the event, BVL believes in and understands the value of art therapy.  Veterans:  Get out your paintbrushes, pianos, and powerful voices.   Share your soul’s ...

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Painting with a Purpose

Thanks to BVL, veterans at the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown are finding their creative spark, as well as learning a lifelong leisure skill, through a special art program designed to provide the tips, tools and techniques to get their juices flowing.   Says Activity Director Melissa Ladd, “The veterans experience so much satisfaction from starting with a blank canvass and working toward a beautiful picture that they are proud to display in their room or share with their loved ones. I personally love hearing the veterans say, ‘There is no way I can do that, I ...

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Horses Healing Heroes

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Gulf War Veteran Ben Hernandez still remembers clearly the carnage he witnessed on the infamous “Highway of Death” leading from Kuwait into Iraq. “It was a massacre. It got into my head.” That, combined with a friendly fire attack, plus an enemy bombardment resulted in PTSD issues upon his return. He is in counseling and under the doctor’s care at the Southern Nevada VA Hospital, and he’s better… But discovering the special healing properties through the equine therapy program funded by BVL has really made a difference. Getting outdoors, caring for the horses ...

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Get On Board

  “Surf’s Up” is not just the rallying cry of Southern California beachgoers – Every September it is the call to recently-injured veterans to try their skills in a variety of water sports at the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic (NVSSC). Thanks to this event, veterans get the chance to (among other sports) surf, sail, and row. Said one participant, “Sometimes we just need a little push. I think once you try adaptive sports it becomes a motivator to challenging yourself. I’ve done things as an amputee that I would never have dreamed of doing before ...

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The Eagle Has Landed in Augusta

Charlie Norwood VAMC “USO” themed game room and billiards room referred to and named by our Veterans as the “Eagles Nest” is their safe haven. The “Eagle’s Nest” offers a valuable opportunity for our Hospitalized Veterans to socialize with others in similar situations. So when they come into these areas specially created for them with funds from the BVL they see in their fellow Veterans someone who may be equally disabled in a different way, it is meaningful interaction. They can share commonality; they no longer are just looking at themselves. They get ...

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Smooth Strumming

  BVL is Brightening Veterans' Lives through the gift of music. A group of veterans at the New York Harbor Healthcare System are finding both spirt and solace by learning how to play the guitar.  Music therapy is a proven path to healing.  See how the days are brighter for a group Veterans thanks to a BVL grant. https://www.flickr.com/photos/144760790@N02/sets/72157673222194371

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