Advancing National Service

To Fight PTSD, This Veteran Cross Stitches

December 11, 2014
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To Fight PTSD, This Veteran Cross Stitches
Cross stitching helps veteran David Jurado cope with PTSD symptoms. Mary T. Moore/Flikr
David Jurado finds calm with a needle and thread in hand.

With treatments for PTSD ranging from equine therapy and scuba diving to a nudist lifestyle, it’s clear that what works to ease one veteran’s PTSD symptoms might not work for another. Regardless of method, anything that relaxes someone suffering is beneficial.

Veteran David Jurado couldn’t shake the troubled thoughts that serving in Iraq left him with. About his time serving overseas, he tells the Greenville Online, “We definitely saw our fair share of battle. I lost really good friends through IED (improvised explosive device) explosions.”

A few years after Jurado returned home from Iraq to Greenville, S.C., he began to seek help for his PTSD. Companions for Heroes helped him train a service dog from the Greenville Humane Society. “With the resources that Companions for Heroes had to offer, I was able to able to raise my own service dog in about a year’s time,” Jurado says. “The service dog really broke my anti-social shell. I was ready to take on whatever the world had to throw at me.”

While the dog helped, Jurado kept seeking other activities to ease his PTSD — including cross stitching, a craft that his mom taught him when he was eight-years-old. “My wife gave me a pattern, and I jumped right back into it for a reason. It’s something that keeps my mind from wandering into places I don’t want to go or remember,” he says. “Life is pretty simple when all you’ve got to worry about is needle and thread.”

Jurado transitioned from his former career as a police officer to working for Companions for Heroes. He has been so successful with figuring out what techniques help him to manage his PTSD symptoms that the Wounded Warrior Project selected to become a peer mentor for other vets with similar issues.

Now Jurado is always ready to help two other veterans in the Greenville area. “Helping other people with their challenges helps me better handle mine,” he says.

MORE: This 85-Year-Old Knitter Churns Out Hats to Help Homeless Vets

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