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Art as therapy for Veterans

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22va

Self expression has long been regarded as a form of therapy, but for service members experiencing PTSD it can be life changing.

That's the philopshy behind 22 VA or 22 Veterans Art.

It was founded by Michael Ragan who reminds people that 22 Veterans take their own lives every day.

Ragan said he wanted to open an art avenue for creative veterans who did more than paint, but enjoyed things like welding, performance arts, wood carvings, sculptures, tattooing and more.

It's meant to be an outlet to help them heal, bond, and be appreciated.

"It's the Christmas season. It's a good time to reach out. Holidays are hard on veterans. Holidays are hard on everyone. One of the installations I did here was a Christmas tree with 154 ornaments on it. That's how many veterans commit suicide in a week." said Michael Ragan, the founder of 22VA

The show continues at the Downtown Peoria Public Library until January 26th.



Kaitlin Pearson

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