Combat Paper, turning military uniforms into paper and artwork

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IRON MOUNTAIN– Did you know that this military uniform can be turned in paper? It can be and that’s exactly what Combat Paper does.

“A number of years ago I used the uniform that I had worn when I was in the military when I was in the war and turned it into handmade paper. And quickly what happened was our group of veterans and artists who were contributing with this began to grow,” said Drew Cameron, Founder, Combat Paper.

Drew Cameron, along with his paper making supplies was at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center today to make the paper with veterans.

“Part of Combat Paper’s mission is to bring veterans together and to bridge generations, bridge services and people that have served to make that connection,” said Sharon Anastas, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center. “And part of suicide prevention is about making connections and getting people to collaborate.”

Anastas says in the U.S. 20 veterans died from suicide everyday. On average only six of those people are being cared for in a VA and only three of those veterans are seeking mental health treatment. She says events like this one are for all veterans to reach out to them. 

“Instead of it just sitting in a drawer or a closet that they can have a visual memory of past experiences that were very meaningful and that gives them a sense of connection,” said Anastas. “And also it’s a way for people to communicate. You see that piece of artwork and it starts people to ask about someone where that came from and also can lead them to talk about their military service. And for a lot of our veterans their military service is an integral part of who they are and gives them a sense of purpose.”

There’s two more workshops tomorrow from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m and 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. central time at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center.

For more information on Combat Paper, click here.

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