Veterans’ Talent on Display at VA

PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- The VA Medical Center outside Wilkes-Barre was transformed into a performing arts center on Tuesday. Paintings, drawings, and pieces of poetry were on display for a creative arts competition.

On the second floor of the VA, the room was packed. Several pieces of colorful art were on display and all the way down the hall, some loud singing could be heard.

Local veterans showed off their array of talents during this creative arts competition.

"Artists, writers, we have all kinds of people here. They're great. The guys are amazing. I have so much fun with them. This is what I like to do. I love these guys," said recreational therapy assistant Bill Roberts.

When you look at some of these pieces of art, you notice so many intricate details. Veterans tell Newswatch 16 that being able to carry out a creative vision helps them escape from some of the difficult times they experienced while serving in the armed forces.

"When I'm doing that, drawing art and stuff, it relieves me of that everyday life, the past. And I can just get into my paintings and enjoy it," said Marine veteran Brian Conklin.

Having all the veterans in one room together, smiling and having a good time is a way to celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us.

"We're honoring the veterans that can't be here and the veterans that actually are here because there's a lot of veterans that lost their lives doing what they had to do. They fought for our freedom and the freedom of everybody in our country," said Army veteran Robert Mauro.

Taking home a first-place certificate is another memory that will be cherished by these veterans.