Video by Sandi Moynihan
BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Before 2016, the last time Army Sgt. Derek Peterson picked up a paint brush was in high school – which, he admits, was quite a few years ago.
“I would like to be [considered an artist],” Peterson said. “But I hadn’t done any real art since [then].”
So, when Peterson heard about the USO Southwest Asia’s two new art programs – Paint and Sip and Art on Tap – during a recent deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, he knew it was the perfect opportunity to get back to his creative roots.
“It’s something different and it lets more of the creative side out of people,” Peterson said.
During each monthly session, both the Paint and Sip and Art on Tap programs focus on a different aspect of painting or multimedia art, respectively. So far, during his current deployment to Kandahar, and now Bagram, Peterson has experimented with watercolor, acrylic, modeling clay, glass ornaments and much more.
More importantly, the two monthly programs have provided him with a creative outlet to pass the time.
“30 minutes, an hour, two hours of just creative enjoyment as opposed to what’s going on outside,” Army Sgt. Derek Peterson said. “This is kind of that opportunity to break free from reality.”
You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect: http://uso.org/messages. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.
More from the USO
Jun 25, 2017
19 Photos to Remember the Korean War 67 Years After it Erupted
All too often, the Korean War -- and the veterans who fought in it -- get lost in the shuffle, but the USO wants to make sure the conflict wedged between World War II and Vietnam gets the attention that it deserves, especially on the day it began 67 years ago.
Jun 20, 2017
USO Pathfinder Helps Transitioning Military Members Chart New Course
Since 1941, the USO has strengthened military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their military service. Its introduction of USO Pathfinder is its latest extension of that commitment to the American military family.