Jerel Wenger, USN, ‘66 - ‘70 was diagnosed with MS in 1990. Despite his physical challenges, he enjoys creating meticulously designed mosaic pots in the Giant Steps program. Of Giant Steps Art Therapy he says, “It has provided me with a window to escape from the restrictions of my disabled state. It stimulates me both mentally and physically, and actually helps me to maintain some dexterity in my fingers. I look forward to attending each week for the connections and camaraderie.”
Mr. Wenger served during the Vietnam War and was a Seabee from 1967-1968 (scroll to our Spotlight On… feature below to learn more about the work of The Seabees). Among his accomplishments, Mr. Wenger had a career as Software Engineer from which he retired in 2005. He also designed and built a geodesic home in upstate New York. His Mosaic pieces above can be viewed in our full screen gallery here.
The Giant Steps Program is an arts-driven outpatient mental health program for Veterans connected with VA Connecticut Healthcare. The mission of Giant Steps is to promote the wellness and recovery of Veterans by providing opportunities for creative expression, and connection with others so they can rediscover personal strengths, manage stress, build resilience, enhance self-empowerment and find meaning and pleasure in their lives.
Laura Spinelli, MA, ATR, LPC
Director, Giant Steps Program
VA Connecticut HCS