Navy Veteran using art therapy to heal

Navy Veteran Robert Monize served aboard the USS Newport News during the Vietnam War. Living with PTSD for over 40 years, he’s found solace in art.

Nationwide, VA medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Each year, Veterans enrolled at VA health care facilities compete in local creative arts competitions. The competition includes 51 categories in the visual arts division ranging from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 100 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing. Through a national judging process, first, second and third place entries in each category are determined. For more information visit the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival online at



Mike Molina

Mike Molina is a public affairs specialist with VA’s Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events. He has been a federal public affairs practitioner for nearly 20 years, including serving as public affairs officer at the Jesse Brown VA in Chicago and the Montana VA Health Care System in Helena, Montana. Mike is a Marine Corps Veteran and was an amateur boxer on the All-Marine Boxing Team while stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.


  1. Michael beaver    

    I am 100 & combat nam vet. I am at 70& for PTSD. There is not a whole lot I can do. One hobby I have had for some years now is working with wood, either turning wood or using a laser machine to make a lot of pictures. Everything I make I give away. For some reason that gives me a lift to crawl out of my hole.
    I am no great artist and I have to stop working when nerves in my hands especially start shaking so bad I can not hit the key on the computer and then I have a mess. I live alone so when ever I get the urge I make something.
    Every so often I find someone on here that can teach me things. This guy is trying to teach me how to d scroll saw work. So far I am terrible at it, but I am learning.

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