Alcohol, violence, sex, suicide.
These are the outlets we hear most often about when the conversation touches on veterans and Post Traumatic Stress, but a few vets have actually turned to artwork as a way to express, and possibly surmount, their invisible wounds.
They made these masks at the National Intrepid centre of Excellence, located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical centre in Bethesda, Md.
It was part of an art therapy group, and by the looks of it, these vets didn’t hold anything back.
This mask was created by an Airman who was exposed to multiple blast injuries in combat while working on a bomb disposal unit, called EOD -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
The soldier who created this mask is suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The constant pressure of a vice symbolizes the pain he feels as a result of his injuries.
This mask, made by a wounded soldier, represents the feeling that he needs to camouflage himself to fit into civilian society. He said that art therapy was one of the few times he felt he could truly express himself.
This mask was made by a Navy service member to show his inability to talk about his war experiences because of the stigma associated with mental health issues. The sailor chose metal eyes to represent his feeling of being a robot.
This mask shows what it feels like to be over-medicated, which the soldier depicts using the actual colours and shapes of the pills he had taken.
This mask represents the injuries of the soldier who made it and how difficult it is for him to talk about his experiences. The patient included three stitches to symbolise that he felt he was beginning to heal.
This mask represents the men who were killed in action while this Marine was in command. He represents death but also shows his attempt to resuscitate the wounded.
The Navy service member who made this mask says it shows how he's broken on the outside -- but still passionate about his military career on the inside.
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