Veterans host monthly First Friday art show

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - After immense interest from local veterans wanting to participate in First Friday, the Fairbanks Veterans Center created its Open House and Veterans Art Show. Office Manager with the Vet Center, Brad Bunnell says the agency receives about 20 submissions per show.

"Paintings, you have wood work, wire work with metals, you have as you see behind you natural animals of Alaska photos, crocheting, puzzle work, drawings, what have you, art work of all types," he said.

Coast Guard veteran Terry Morache prefers the art of needle felting.

"It's such a great anger release when you take a piece of wool and a small needle and repeatedly stab it and when you have your leather gloves and these ultra-fine needles and you're just sticking it over and over again, it's great," Morache said.

And she puts a little something special in each piece.

"Of courses they're a little bit of dog hair in everything I do because I believe that dogs heal veterans. My art works reflects it because dogs saved my life. Dogs and my art work kept me from being a statistic," she said.

Morache has been working with other veterans struggling with PTSD for the past five years.

"With the theme this month, get away to paradise, to me the ultimate paradise would be no more veteran suicide and it breaks my heart. I send out service dogs for self-training to other PTSD veterans. Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide and it's got to end," she said.

Providing a safe space for veterans to receive help and express themselves, the Fairbanks Vet Center is always there to support our local veterans.