Lejeune hosts Healing Wounds Through Expressive Freedom exhibit

art expo

Sgt. Danna Berry holds a self portrait he painted using acrylic on canvas, during Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune’s art therapy exhibit, Healing Wounds Through Expressive Freedom.

Don Bryan/Halifax Media
Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 06:38 PM.

For Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Warnick, art is his release. On Friday, he was able to bring others into his world during an exhibit at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune.

“Art has really changed our lives — almost every facet of it,” said Warnick, a Marine with Wounded Warrior Battalion East. “It’s been a great way to express myself, to get lost.

“It’s grounding.”

The Naval Hospital aboard Camp Lejeune hosted the exhibit, Healing Wounds Through Expressive Freedom, which included the artwork of 30 Marines and sailors from aboard the base. The arts program is part of the adjunct therapy program aboard the base where service members can express themselves through art.

“For me, the process of painting relaxes me and gives me a focal point so things aren’t out of control,” said Warnick, who has been struggling with post traumatic stress disorder since 2004. “It’s a calm place in the storm. It’s where I run to when things fall apart.”

Warnick said he lived in denial before being recommended to treatment in 2012 after dissociating while on a Navy vessel.

“My provider said I should look into art therapy,” Warnick said. “At the time I didn’t think it was going to work out. It sounded like hippie stuff. It paid off quickly though. It didn’t take but once or twice for me to be sold.”

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