Army veteran uses jewelry crafting to recover from PTSD, help others
By ZACK HEDRICKNews 4 San AntonioFacebook | TwitterSAN ANTONIO -- An Army veteran picked up a different kind of hobby to deal with the difficulties of PTSDNow, she's trying to help other women with similar struggles.Inside the garage of a home, in a West Side neighborhood is a fully functioning jewelry factory."I'm done with the earrings and they're so beautiful," sang Tara Hutchinson. "You just have to sing a song when you finish a piece." For Tara Hutchinson, crafting jewelry was a way to cope after serving in the Army. "Ten years exactly," said Hutchinson. "I retired as a sergeant first class."The decade of service took its toll back while in Baghdad on Valentines Day in 2006."Part of my injury was I lost so much blood that I ended up with a brain injury," said Hutchinson.The blood loss gave her tremors similar to Parkinson's disease."I couldn't hold a fork, I couldn't hold a pencil, I couldn't write," said Hutchinson.But Hutchinson lost more than just the use of her hands."My truck hit an IED, an improvised explosive device that was on the side of the road, and it came through my door and it instantly severed my leg," recalled Hutchinson.Six months after her injury, Tara began crafting jewelry to regain her motor skills.But by shaping each piece, carefully by hand, the retired Army sergeant found a new mission."If I could I would totally buy her out 100 percent inventory-wise," said Kels Sapp, Hutchinson's friend."The reason that I make jewelry which is to help women feel good about themselves," said Hutchinson.A problem Hutchinson says she struggled with while recovering from her injuries. Now she has plans to expand her business at a trade show in Atlanta at the start of December."But this show takes a lot of money," said Hutchinson.She says it'll costs about $15,000 for registration and set up to attend the trade show. Costs her business can't quite cover yet. So until she reaches her goal she'll keep designing, hoping to help transform other women the way jewelry has changed her."I want to know that I help people and this just fits in like a puzzle piece with that," said Hutchinson.If you would like to donate, there is a link to her fundraising page here GoFundVeterans.For more information about Tara, you can find it on her website.