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Veterans display photography at UNCW. Photo Courtesy: Alexa Block/WWAY

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Veterans returning home from war may come back injured, but it’s the wounds you don’t see that can take the longest to heal.

Local counselors are trying to uncover these emotional scars and heal veterans through the Invisible Wounds of War Project. Counselors  Jen Johnson and  Kyle Horton have been leading workshops that allow veterans to deal with their wounds through writing and photography. After returning home, the veterans say the workshops give them a safe environment to open up about their time in the military.

Jim Vanderbeck, a Vietnam veteran, said that the workshops are helpful, but can be painful.

“It actually brings me back, but that’s a lot about the healing process, you know. Sometimes you have to dig back into something and it doesn’t feel good at the time to get better later on,” said Vanderbeck.

Writing and photography by veterans will be on display at UNCW’s Sherman Hayes Gallery. The exhibit will run from now until December 15th.

Upcoming events for the Invisible Wounds of War Project include a mindfulness workshop on Saturday, November 7th and a reading by Kristen Holmstedt from her book about women veterans on Friday, November 13th.

More events are listed here.

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