By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and TransitionNovember 21, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va. - Sgt. 1st Class Darryl Jackson used to be an athlete. Like a lot of kids, sports was the time occupier that became the time consumer. While he loved to draw and dabble in art, sports were a force to be reckoned with.
Fast-forward to adulthood, and an Army career. Jackson served as an instructor at Joint Base McGuire Dix, N.J., training service members to prepare for deployment.
Then in May 2015 he found himself assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Belvoir, Va.
"I got sent to the WTB for multiple injuries…bilateral shoulder injuries, bilateral knee injuries, and deep vein thrombosis blood clots upon arriving here and going through the Medical Evaluation Board and Physical Evaluation Board." The married father of four says one of the conditions that brought him to Fort Belvoir is life threatening if not treated.
And now Jackson is thankful that he found Army Warrior Care's adaptive reconditioning program, in particular art. "I went to the Open Art Program because it was part of the adaptive reconditioning activities, which is 150 minutes with additional events like yoga, bible study, bingo, poker, I picked art because I used to draw when I was a kid, but I stopped drawing and I started playing sports."
"You don't have to be artistic to come to the Open Art Program. The reason behind that is everybody is artistic in their own way and the more you come to the Open Art Program the better you get at painting, drawing, or whatever else you do. You also learn how to do other things in the program like basket making, stained glass, among other offerings."
"The program is good for service members because it helps us relax and discuss the medical issues that we deal with and we teach each other different strategies to cope," said Jackson.
Lucky for Jackson, his artistic ability is renewed and his work is often displayed at adaptive reconditioning events. Although he may be a work in progress as he continues to heal, artistically, you can call Jackson, Monet with a mission.