Spectrum of Valour course provides medium for veterans to socialize and work together

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Spectrum of Valour course provides medium for veterans to socialize and work together

Post by Loader on Fri 28 Apr 2017, 08:05

This article is contained in the 8 Wing/CFB Trenton newspaper which is published as a single PDF file and can be viewed in the link at the bottom. File is 15MB and may take several minutes to load.

By Ross Lees

"The program s specifically designed to benefit veterans in transition to medical releases"

Spectrum of Valour is an acrylic painting program specifically designed to benefit veterans in transition to medical releases and administered through the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) in Trenton.
Kelly Briggs, Veterans and Family Services with the MFRC, said the classes are designed to provide social opportunities for veterans adjusting to their new normal. “It’s all about finding a medium where people can meet socially and work together,”

This new normal these veterans are experiencing is far different than what life used to be like before their injuries or traumas, noted Edith Lepage Crete, the instructor of the course.
Conducted in small classes of six people, the course is not too intimidating for these military personnel already going through vast changes in their lives, Crete stated. “It’s a good opportunity for soldiers who have had injuries to get together and share strategies on how to move on”.

Crete sees art as a therapy tool that will validate the feelings of the veterans and facilitate the expression of their emotions while allowing them to experience more positivity.
Herself a military wife, Crete knows the challenges and hardshipsmilitary personnel and their families experience.

A retired teacher, she believes art can heal a troubled soul.  Having taught art for 20 years as an educator, Crete witnessed firsthand the benefits of art in the learning process and she now believes it can be a wellness source for the whole family, but especially for veterans suffering from injuries and trauma related to their military careers.

“If they feel good after so much drama, I think the whole family and the community benefits”. Crete has three goals for the course she teaches – to teach basic techniques and principals of acrylic painting, to create an art club with the members of the course, and to perhaps offer the possibilities of a high profile exhibition on her students’ paintings at an art gallery of at the National Air Force Museum of Canada.

Before he started this course,  Bruno Fournier remembers spending most of his time on his couch at home. A 30-year veteran, Fournier served four tours abroad
and he sees the Spectrum of Valour course as a good program for veterans like himself. “ This gives me a chance to work,” he said. “Sometime you need a goal to just get back on the horse. This course is awesome!”

Jim Sutton loves the program and finds it a way to express his emotions and to connect with other veterans. “It’s a release, I suppose,” he said. “I love it. I’m having a great time.”

Briggs sees the program as an opportunity for people to really spend time just expressing what they’re thinking and feeling at any given time in a manner that’s non-judgemental.

“It your art, it’s what you’re doing,” she said. “It’s yours and you own it.” She says she sees and hears the benefits often. “I hear from people how beneficial the program is and how its benefits continue afterwards. It’s an ongoing method for people to develop tools, supports and to manage emotions.”

http://thecontactnewspaper.cfbtrenton.com/archives/2017/09_April_2017/apr_24_2017/thecontact_apr_24_2017.pdf
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