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Veterans Process Trauma through Camaraderie and Art

Marine veteran Richard Casper survived four separate IED explosions and suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq. When he came home, he struggled to adjust, until he found an outlet through art and music.

“I remember having one-on-one lessons with my speech therapist,” Casper said. “Because I literally couldn’t speak to the people around me … art and music saved my life. It gave me the opportunity to tell my story, without telling my story.”

Casper is founder of the nonprofit organization CreatiVets, which has collaborated with the VCU School of the Arts and VCU Office of Military Student Services to help men and women whose lives were scarred by war use art to help process their experiences. Eight veterans participated in the partnership’s inaugural course, which took place June 12-30 in Richmond.

Read the full VCU News article.