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Veterans receive unique gift from local art institute students

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A group of metro veterans received a unique gift thanks to a partnership with local students.

David Terrill's micro class at the Kansas City Art Institute was assigned a project this past semester in which 14 veterans got to share their stories.

"The idea of each one of our students getting to interview the veteran and then do a portrait of them from that experience was really a special, special occasion," Terrill said. "At the base level, we're human beings and I think there was a kindred spirit, each one touched in each other.

Students interviewed veterans about many things, including loneliness. A struggle for many who've served.

Retired Sergeant Gary Walker said the process didn't just benefit the vets.

"It's difficult on some of the topics that are still raw, but the therapeutic part of it is having that discussion and talking about it," Walker said. "When I talked about suicide, I did get a reaction from one of the students, and so I stayed afterwards and had a conversation with her and checked in."

Walker said he's proud of these students.

"Because they captured the essence of each one of these veterans. It is truly amazing."

 

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