One Tennessee soldier is helping fellow warriors with PTSD through quilting.
Andrew Lee served in the US Army for 10-years where he was stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. He completed two deployments to Iraq.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq.
Andrew explained why it is difficult for vets to return to civilian life.
He told WGNS, "When you're on duty, you must shut-off all emotions--that's for your protection, as well as those serving around you. But when you return home, you are used to mentally shutting things off, and this creates problems. Quilting has helped me dramatically."
Upon returning to civilian life, he became an over-the-road trucker in East Tennessee. Lee wanted to continue serving this country, so he also joined the Tennessee National Guard.
Along the way, Andrew was searching for something that he and his wife could do together. They discovered quilting. Not only did that blossom in his East Tennessee hometown of Loudon, but on jaunts to Smyrna to train with the Guard, he found Stitcher's Playhouse on Rock Springs Road.
He is completing a large "Raising The Flag Over Iwo Jima" quilt, and it will be displayed at Stitcher's Playhouse in July.
Lee met the head of the Knoxville "Quilts of Valor" group while learning the craft. After awhile, he felt relaxed and yet focused. The art of quilting offered an opportunity for veterans with PTSD to talk-out issues with other vets . . .
He gave an easy to understand explanation of what causes PTSD . . .
Again, Andrew Lee stressed how veterans quilting together, opens the door to a healing process.
Lee's current quilt is a massive undertaking. It has 12,100 squares of material. It took about a year to sew those together, and when you look at the quilt, it is the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima.
Again, it will be on display the entire month of July at Stitcher's Playhouse, 540 Rock Springs Road in Smyrna.
Here is the entire interview with Andrew Lee. It is a part of the special MEMORIAL DAY (5/27/2019) Action Line broadcast on WGNS.