Tulsa Glassblowing School therapeutic for veterans with PTSD

Posted at 8:35 PM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 23:43:36-05

TULSA -- The Tulsa Glassblowing School is helping veterans with post traumatic stress disorder. Some veterans are trying a technique that helps them move beyond the violence of war and find peace.

Each piece is carefully molded and fired.

"All day long it's like you're a balloon being blown up and then you get here and you actually get to focus on that glass blowing, focus on that art and that it releases that pressure," Air Force veteran Justin Schultz said.

Schultz's illness was crafted in a different fire, gunfire.

"The thing about PTSD is there's no medication that you can take for that and it's actually one of the few disorders that gets worse in time and doesn't actually get better," he said.

Schultz served his country for 10 years. He was deployed for multiple tours overseas. The Air Force veteran says he struggled to adapt to life back home when the tours ended.

"There's some days I barely make it here in the nick of time," he said. 

Glassblowing is his medication.

The Tulsa Glassblowing school offers a free six week class to veterans. It's one of two in the nation.

"It's almost kind of like meditating," Marine Crops veteran Matthew Engelbach said. "You've forgotten about everything else that's going on around you."

Engelbach comes twice a week. He says it helps ease his anxiety.

"When you walk away from it, you're ready to re-engage and kind of move on with life again for the next week," he said. 

Both veterans are fired with enthusiasm to create something new and this glass fuels their passion.

"I mean just really like in my soul you know," Schultz said. "It's just really changed my outlook on life around."

The school is displaying veterans art at a show on May 25th. You can purchase various pieces of glass. All the proceeds go back to the program, which makes the classes free for veterans.

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