Their Stories

“I joined the Navy in 1982. I was headed down the wrong path in life, and one day while on a run, I ventured into the Navy Recruiters office, completely on a whim. The rest was history. I joined, decided to turn my life around, and that day started a new chapter in my life. The cold war period was anything but cold. I served in many capacities between 82 -89, subs, surface, and special teams. I was wounded in 1987, and spent two years learning how to walk again. That was a very dark time in my life, and one where I started using my hands to do a little woodworking. I loved it from the onset, and it reminded me of times in my Dads shop pounding nails into wood as a toddler. Woodworking became my release, and my coping method for severe PTSD, and depression. Without woodworking in my life, I don’t think I would be here today. I am very grateful for the many great organizations like PlaneWellness (what a great name) that cater to the many Veterans and others battling demons. Thank you”

“I am a left-leg amputee at the hip because of cancer. Since the amputation, I have had to adapt many of my hobbies and find creative outlets that I am still able to do safely. Woodworking has been a creative outlet for me to work to create beautiful things. It has helped me be reflective and find beauty through difficult times.”

“I fight depression and am overall just very stressed about life right now. Working on a project allows me to focus on that one thing, and solve the problems inside of that project and that project alone, which is a relief from burning myself out stressing about every other problem I have yet to solve outside of woodworking. Getting the opportunity to connect with other people in the community is a wonderful way to build this part of my life.”

“I am a 22.5 year retired US Army veteran. I am also a 100% service-connected disabled veteran. In my military career, and in jobs afterwards, I was an investigator and administrator/commander. My main disability is major depressive disorder. I got into woodworking as it allowed me to use my hands and mind to create things that do not hurt people and add some beauty to our world. I belong to Plane Wellness to increase my ability to create such beauty.”

“I have struggled with PTSD and ADHD for a large portion of my life and never really found anything that helped ease the symptoms. When I discovered woodworking, it was like a breath of fresh air. My shop, very quickly, became my “safe space”. Woodworking is my break from the chaos. It is not running from my problems; it is setting them aside for a moment to relax and it makes me happy. I know that sounds so small, “it makes me happy” but sometimes being happy is all I can ask for. Woodworking has also taught me things that help my life outside of the shop. Like how to slow my mind down, plan things out, and not jump ahead because if you move fast or jump ahead in woodworking, you make mistakes. Or how to find joy in the little things, like taking a good chisel shaving in oak and not getting tare out.”