Veterans capture the big picture
By: Eric Ortega, ComEd summer intern
Connecting with nature can help people find peace and tranquility. It also can provide a refuge to military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), many of whom struggle to reconnect with loved ones or engage in everyday activities like going out in public when they return to civilian life.
Fortunately, there are programs that honor veterans with PTSD for their service and support their healing in innovative ways. One such program, At Ease, uses nature photography to serve hundreds of veterans each year.
At Ease works with ComEd, the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and the Brushwood Center, a nonprofit nature center in Riverwoods, Ill., to give veterans with PTSD the opportunity to explore the arts by taking captivating photographs of the scenery in prairie lands on ComEd powerline rights-of-way.
A professional photographer gives the participants easy step-by-step instructions on how to operate a high-quality camera. From focusing the lens to get a clear picture to getting the lighting just right, veterans enjoy quiet moments of serenity while capturing the perfect shot.
Not only does the program help improve mental and physical health for participants, but it increases environmental awareness of the need to preserve natural prairies for common pollinators. ComEd’s funding to the program brings together two of its goals: to provide opportunity for our veterans and environmental stewardship to support a clean energy future.
To learn more about At Ease, or to attend a session, visit https://www.brushwoodcenter.org/Events/AtEase.html