Veteran copes with PTSD by quilting for fellow vets – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-09-24 17:34:13 –

Smyrna, Tennessee (WTVF) — Every morning at the Tennessee Army National Guard Base in Smyrna, Tennessee, tradition is woven into every part of our lives. So much, the soldiers know their chants and songs from the bottom of their hearts.

“We are proud of everything we have done, fight until we win the battle, and the army roams,” the soldiers sang all at once.

But in this leadership class, Andrew Lee is pulling the leash. Education is the second act for veterans of military service in the last 20 years. Prior to that, he made two deployments to Iraq. There, some of what he saw was forced to separate him from his emotions. “I saw a kid standing by the road because he was hungry, but if he had to react, his dad was ready to use the AK-47 and was standing behind him,” Lee said in NewsChannel 5 Told to. ..

Mental wounds from the front line only began to appear when he returned home from deployment. “I remember going to a grocery store and not being able to walk 10 or 12 feet in the aisle because I immediately felt trapped. It’s part of the PTSD trigger and emotional panic mode. , The fight, or the escape has begun. I couldn’t. “

So he started looking for an outlet. “Mental paralysis, emotional paralysis, or life paralysis didn’t work. It wasn’t rewarding and unsatisfying,” he said.

At that time, the teacher found something new to connect his life. “I felt I needed to share some of what I learned during my quilting journey,” Lee said.

You can find Lee in a very different kind of classroom several times a year. He teaches quilting classes at the Stitchers Playhouse in Smyrna. There he is by far the youngest and only man.

“He first came to the store to buy a spool of yarn about four years ago, and we all fell in love with him,” said Anne Burnett, one of his students. ..

Lee’s introduction to the world of quilting is the rotation of the thread itself. It started as a way to surprise his wife with the activities they could do together. “I checked all the boxes of my husband’s duty and tried not to do what most people did, but doing so made me crazy,” Lee said.

He soon realized that it wasn’t just a healing activity, he was also really good. “I went ahead and grew up,” Lee said.

International Quilt Museum

Created by Andrew Lee, this Iwo Jima quilt is enshrined in the International Quilt Museum.

In fact, he already has a mosaic quilt depicting the raising of the Iwo Jima flag enshrined in the International Kilt Museum, working on another piece of FDNY firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero since 9/11. is. , Suspended at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. “I felt that this one monumental event would make a difference,” he said.

9/11 quilt

Jordan Powell / WTVF

Andrew Lee spreads his 9/11 mosaic kilt he’s working on. When completed, it will be on display at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

But Andrew’s most proud work isn’t art, it’s the work around the shoulders of veterans.

“The real reason I seduced people here-the quilt of courage,” Lee said back in the military classroom.

Andrew creates it for the Quilts of Valor, an organization that provides personalized bundles of threads suitable for service members. “The brave Foundation quilt wants to acknowledge you for your service to our country,” Lee explained to the class.

His favorite part surprises the recipient. Sgt. Charles Turner thinks he’s just an extra hand here, as Andrew presents the quilt to someone else. But instead, it’s Charles wrapped in a stitch of love.

“To express our gratitude, we give you this courageous kilt,” Lee said. “And the recipient-Sergeant Turner.”

Turner’s face softens for a moment when reality begins, and then he gives off his smallest smile. A kind of calm joy and stoicism that you will come to expect from the army.

“Thank you, thank you” Sgt. Turner told Lee that he would wave his hand.

“The quilt feels like giving those people a better fighting opportunity to deal with those demons to show that someone cares,” Lee said.

Every time he gave him a kilt, it was a moment of surprise, which kept Lee from being cold and away. “It was my first opportunity after being deployed to feel something really honest,” Lee explained.

That is why Lee Seung-yuop chose this non-traditional ministry in the military world. “I have always said that I have prayed, prayed, and prayed for the light of the world. This is my opportunity to be the light of the world,” Lee said.

It also brought joy to his new world of quilting. “It’s like a puzzle, and as you add more pieces, the final focus is on photography. That’s what I love,” says Burnett.

This is because when Lee Seung-yuop is sewing, he has a chance to heal others while applying patches himself. “This is one of the things I can do, and I can honestly say that I put in 100% to become a productive member of society and give back to everyone who gave me before me. “I will.” Lee said.

Veteran copes with PTSD by quilting for fellow vets Source link Veteran copes with PTSD by quilting for fellow vets

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