“Painting For Our Veterans”

by Charlotte Purdy

Music. It soothes the soul. It also eases the mind of stress. Painting also eases a person’s mind and allows them to bring out their creative side. Put the two together and it’s a double win!

Department of Arkansas’s American Legion Auxiliary 2019-20 Honorary Junior President, Ashlynne Jenkins, learned that there is a need for the Music Memories program which benefits our state’s veterans and decided what better way to raise money than to host “Painting For Our Veterans” painting events.

Music provides many forms of rehabilitation which play a key role in our veteran’s rehabilitation processes.

Rhythm organizes our motor system, allowing muscles to work together more smoothly and efficiently when walking or completing physical exercises.

Listening to music provides opportunities to improve attention, functions, learning and memory.

Singing along to music can be used to retrain speech productions.

Music Memories is a program that equips veterans with an iPod loaded with music. Veterans suffering from PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, disabilities and more, are supplied with an iPod so they can listen to their favorite music and allow it to ease their minds, resulting in the worry fading away with each song.

Although the iPods, earbuds, and music costs seems minimal, the cost of a computer system is higher and with the “Painting For Our Veterans” program, the monies raised will be used to purchase all the necessary equipment and music to be provided to veterans statewide.

Local community members attended the first of the painting events on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the Daniel Harder Post #48 in Stuttgart and enjoyed a day of painting poppies on canvas. The attendees enjoyed a light lunch provided by Past Department of Arkansas American Legion Auxiliary President, Patricia Murray, and then enjoyed an afternoon of painting.

Jenkins plans to travel to different communities to host future events, with each featuring a different painting. The next event will be held in DeWitt in December and future events will be held every other month through June. If you would like to register for the December event, call or text (870) 509-1575. The cost is $25 per person.