Soldiers’ Hearts Helping Soldier’s Heart


Written by Colin Stokes, a blogger for Big Think.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after military service went by many names before it was recognized as a legitimate condition. “Shell shock,” “combat fatigue” and “soldier’s heart” are among the more recent terms for the haunting anxiety problems that some military personnel endure after combat. The agony of PTSD is not a new phenomenon and can be found in Ancient Egyptian and Greek writings, which document the suffering of warriors after battle.

One group of artists, some of whom are veterans themselves, has developed a novel method of therapeutic treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD and other problems that relate to their military service. Through a literal deconstruction of the army uniforms of the veterans in the project, the “Combat Paper Project” hopes to provide cathartic healing and deconstruct the pain and trauma that their military service has left them with. As Drew Cameron, Co-Director of the Combat Paper Project says on their site:

The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.

The Combat Paper Project has traveled around the world, helping veterans in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. with their psychological suffering. They shred their fatigues and mash them up into slurry, then form sheets of paper from the cotton using traditional hand papermaking techniques. They then use silkscreen printing to create beautiful and moving prints on the paper they create, mostly focusing on military imagery.

Check out their website, and donate to help a good cause.

This post was originally published by Big Think.

Related Stories:

PTSD Awareness Day June 27, 2011

Report Says Pentagon’s Psychological Services Are Dysfunctional

Feeding Veterans

Photo from crowdive via flickr


Camila K.
Kamila A6 years ago

art therapy is a powerful healing modality for PTSD. I am so glad that it is helping these men and women who have been traumatized by war

Cef V.
Cef V.6 years ago

Best way to heal the combat related PTSD? End all of the useless, illogical, brutish and big-ass company serving wars. As long as greed and intolerance fuel armed conflicts more young humans from around the world will suffer from PTSD or physical injury, and many will not even have the slightest help to overcome it.

I say the project is kind of good, but I would like it more if it could touch all of the other people damaged by the conflicts sponsored by rich countries' interests.


Jo Anne P.
Jo Anne Pyne6 years ago

What an ingenious idea. I guess the saying "Busy Hands..Happy Heart" is true. God Bless all the men and women who serve our country. Thank You.

Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

Glad that it helps. Anything for our veterans!!

Kim J.
Kimberly J6 years ago

Because of PTSD or Soldier's Heart, many veterans are homeless. Cowgirls Git-R--Dun is a nonprofit organization that is putting together a World Record Motorcycle ride to raise $1 million each for Homeless Veterans, Domestic Violence Victims and Breast Cancer patients. George Taylor, president and founder of the National Veterans Homeless Support organization has teamed up with us for this worthy cause. Please go to, check out our web site and, if you are a biker, please register for at least one leg of the ride. Veterans put their lives on the line for us every day. It is time we helped them out as well. Veterans, both male and female are also victims of domestic violence and female veterans also get breast cancer. But the Tea Party Republicans want to cut funding for veterans health care. By registering for at least one leg of the ride, you will be helping veterans more than you know. Also, our sponsor is a national grocery chain and will refund your registration fee in groceries. Also, for every leg of the ride you register for, you will receive 1 entry into a drawing for a free motorcycle. By going to and registering for at least one leg of the ride, you will be helping homeless veterans, victims of domestic violence and breast cancer patients. And you will receive groceries in return for your registration.

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

Thanks to all who have helped these men and women.

Raymond  Cornes
Ray C6 years ago

Very pleased is some thing good happening for once, however, look under the report we find a
Petition Heading (No Vetren Should go Hungry)
(Open Ouote " At the moment there is 130,000 Vetrens Homeless and Hungry there is one in three homeless people are in America are US Military Vetren and nearly 3 million Vetren Familes don't have enough to eat each month" Close Quote,)
I think, Is not the duty of Countries to Feed Vetrens and Home them after conflict, I accept in the vetrens are been help as stated above, but, shouldn't you help them alot more, putting a bit a tin on their chest won't feed them nor will it House them, more needs to done for these Brave Men and Women, don't you think.

Nelson B.
Nelson B6 years ago

Anything that helps, even if it helps only a few, is good. It is a shame our country destroys the lives of these young men then discards them.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

This is an incredible idea. May it help to heal the hearts and minds of many of these men.

Linda C.
Linda C6 years ago

So glad to see something positive for our veterans. They deserve so much more, but I think that they have the solution, they are helping each other. We can never comprehend, unless we walked in their shoes, just what they have experienced nor the affect on them. I am glad that they are able to turn to one of the greatest aspects of their military experience, the ability to rely on each other and turn to each other for much needed help. Yes, Wendye K, God Bless our Military men and women; those that have served and those that are currently serving; those living and those that have lost their lives or passed away.