WILKES-BARRE, PA – Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities nationwide use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Each year, Veterans treated at VA medical centers can compete in the National Veterans Creative Arts competition. The competition recognizes the progress and recovery made through arts therapy, and raises the visibility of the creative achievements of our nation’s Veterans. The competition includes 50 art categories that range from oil painting to woodworking to model building kits. There are also 120 categories pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing.
This year over 5,700 entries were submitted into the local competition with 128 VA facilities represented. Recreation Therapy staff members at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center are proud to announce that 12 Veterans who participated in the competition have placed at the national level.
Bill Kuklewicz received the silver medal in the Instrumental Solo Classical category in the Music Division for his rendition of Flights of the Angels.
Ron Sallard received the bronze medal in the Senior Dance category in the Dance Division for his dance performance set to Prince’s song Kiss.
Benjamin Miller received the bronze medal in the Monologue/Duologue category in the Creative Writing Division for his writing submission called Hurtful Words.
Jennifer Graf received the bronze medal in the Special Recognition category in the Creative Writing Division for her writing submission called Flight.
David Carter received the bronze medal in the Digital Art category in the Cart Division for his artwork titled Loach.
The Pennsylvania Twisters received the silver medal in the Special Recognition category in the Dance Division for their dance number set to Rock Around The Clock. Group members are Henry Castner, John Malarkey, Michael Smallen and Frank Suponcic.
Robert Nause received the silver medal in the Scrollsaw/Fretwork category in the Art Division for his artwork titled Precious Memories.
Mack McQuilla received the gold medal in the Special Recognition category in the Drama Division for his interpretation of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.
Robert Rushalk received the gold medal in the Senior Drama category in the Drama Division for his rendition of And Then There Were None.