MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee's VA Hospital is giving veterans looking to find themselves after suffering physical or emotional pain hope, and many say the hospital provides much more than that! The VA Hospital utilizes a wide variety of therapies to help veterans recover.
For Vietnam veteran Frank Krokos, classic rock and his acoustic guitar are his escape. "I grew up with the Beatles music, and then I started collecting albums early on. When I finally started learning chords, it's like it all came together. It was like 'wow, I can play this and sing it,'" Krokos said.
It wasn't until last year that Krokos decided to advance his skills up and down the fret. Krokos plays by ear, and by feeling. Krokos contracted a disease which left him blind in both of his eyes. He says he has new life through the Guitars for Vets Program. "It's just really improved me as a person, and as a human being, connecting with other vets and other people," Krokos said.
Veterans are conquering their own obstacles through different therapy programs at the VA Hospital.
Michael Thomas says he was given new life. Thomas lost his ability to walk 14 years ago, after being shot and robbed at gunpoint. Thomas says he struggled with adapting to his disability, until he learned about the Adaptive Sports and Recreation for Veterans Program. "I'm the resident adrenaline junkie. Somebody dared me to ski, and I've been chasing them - chasing the rush every second. It took me a couple of years to get off the pity pot, and to find out there's a good life," Thomas said.
Veterans can also take advantage of art and theater programs offered through the VA Hospital. All of these programs are geared toward helping veterans with treatment, recovery and therapy.