Society & Culture
EPISODE 7: Retired military nurse, LAPD reserve officer debunks myths about veteran-artists
In this episode, podcaster Tracy Crow, an author, writing coach, and Marine Corps veteran, talks with retired military nurse and LAPD reserve police officer, Bernardine Donato, "Bernie," to everyone who knows her, about how this veteran of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, uses visual art to replace the constant slide show of traumatic images from her past. Creating something from nothing, Bernie tells us, creates a better life overall. By broadening our everyday awareness, Bernie says we're able to "see more things out of others." Safe to say, Bernie sees the details, and value, in everything and everyone -- in the way bricks are used to form the corner of a building, in the competitive expression of a wounded warrior, in the clothing worn by a homeless man. The details, she shares, reveal stories that inspire and inform her artful, award-winning creations. When asked what myths she'd like to debunk once and for all about veterans, Bernie holds nothing back, so brace for impact. And we believe she's right! A cancer survivor who's currently battling two autoimmune disorders, Bernie says she's determined to live each day to the fullest, and this dynamo of positivity inspires her fellow veterans at the Durham, North Carolina, VA where she gives back by teaching art classes as a form of therapy, and her local chapter members of Team Red, White, and Blue. She's also earned top praise and national recognition from the Veterans Administration.
Click here to discover even more about Bernie and her art!
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