Four female veterans participated in our first pilot test with One Savvy Veteran, a Veterans Service Organization based in Chicago focusing on reintegration support for female veterans. During this one-day recreational pilot session, each participant learned how to use the Warrior Stories Platform and then spent time creating a panel that was meaningful to her. Once the final activity was completed, each veteran took a turn to speak about her panel under the facilitation and support of art therapist Jenny Korotko, ATR, LCPC and Meosha Thomas, founder of One Savvy Veteran.
The results were exciting and inspirational. All the participants learned the tool quickly and created powerful images from their military experience or transition to civilian life. Some worked so intently that they almost missed lunch, and all stayed over an hour longer than originally planned to discuss and share their experiences. All reported that the tool helped them capture and communicate experiences in an empowering way. As one veteran commented, “I have a very difficult time expressing myself to others. This was an excellent way to let me express my emotions without having to talk.”
We will use the information gathered from the pilot session to improve training and support materials for future sessions.