Additional Sources

"Revealing the Trauma of War"

National Geographic

By Caroline Alexander


“I THOUGHT THIS WAS A JOKE,” recalled Staff Sgt. Perry Hopman, who served as a flight medic in Iraq. “I wanted no part of it because, number one, I’m a man, and I don’t like holding a dainty little paintbrush. Number two, I’m not an artist. And number three, I’m not in kindergarten. Well, I was ignorant, and I was wrong, because it’s great. I think this is what started me kind of opening up and talking about stuff and actually trying to get better.”


Hopman is one of many service members guided by art therapist Melissa Walker at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), which is part of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland. Images painted on their masks symbolize themes such as death, physical pain, and patriotism.

"Did Civil War Veterans Have PTSD?"

Smithsonian Magazine

By Tony Horwitz


In the Summer of 1862, John Hildt lost a limb. Then he lost his mind.


The 25-year-old corporal from Michigan saw combat for the first time at the Seven Days Battle in Virginia, where he was shot in the right arm. Doctors amputated his shattered limb close to the shoulder, causing a severe hemorrhage. Hildt survived his physical wound but was transferred to the Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington D.C., suffering from “acute mania.”

"Scores of recent Texas war veterans have died of overdoses, suicide and vehicle crashes, investigation finds"



They survived the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. But they did not survive the homecoming.

 A six-month American-Statesman investigation, which paints the most complete picture yet of what happened to Texas’ Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who died after leaving the military, reveals that an alarmingly high percentage died from prescription drug overdoses, toxic drug combinations, suicide and single-vehicle crashes — a largely unseen pattern of early deaths that federal authorities are failing to adequately track and have been slow to respond to.

"Invisible Wounds: Phychological and Neurological Injuries Confront a New Generation of Veterans"

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America



"The Healing Canvas: Art can soothe the mind and body, therapists say. Now science backs them up"

Los Angeles Times


SIX women sat at a table covered with colored pencils and pastels, each of them focused on drawing a house with rooms representing their emotions and desires.

Susan St. Jon, 63, made an abstract sketch of an African jungle home, with a circle of blank space in the center of the page. It reminded her of a vacation house in which she'd watched wild animals creep dangerously close. The white space, she surmised, was a window onto her uncertain future. "Wherever it's going to take you, it's going to take you," she said, "regardless of what you do."

© 2020 Warriors Heart to Art

Images by Hamilton Studio