ST. LOUIS, MO. - From time to time, we all need a hand. No one understands that better than Scott Beaty.
"I think Scott's pretty awesome," said Haley Pettigrew.
Beaty is a graduate student in the Fontbonne University School of Fine Arts. He also started the non-profit organization Visions for Vets.
"Veterans helping veterans that what we are," Beaty explained.
Beaty shows his soft touch once a week in this workshop at Fontbonne helping disabled veterans through art therapy.
"When you get involved with a piece of artwork you start focusing in. The rest of the world goes away," said Beaty.
Many of vets in the program were in Iraq and Afghanistan and some like 34-year-old Joshua Osburg suffer from PTSD.
"So what can't be expressed with words is usually something we can exercise with painting or drawing, "Osburg said.
Beaty himself spent 20 years in the Navy as a machinist on submarines.
"Think about it, 80% of 20 years I was underwater."
His last day in uniform was Sept. 11, 2001.
"I headed up to the security desk and I said, 'Hey what can I do guys,'" he recalled. "They said, 'Scott, you're retired. Go home.'"
Frustrated and needing an outlet, he's been getting his hands dirty ever since.
In the back of the Fontbonne workshop, Beaty is sculpting his 9-foot tall Masters thesis. He calls it the 'Producer', in part because veterans who come home want to produce. He's been working on it for over two years.
"I've got five more weeks to finish it," said Beaty.
For many of these veterans, it's not just the art that helps them heal it's the camaraderie. Because for them coming home has never felt like home.
"People kind of want to do their own thing and you get left out and wonder where's my team now," explained Pettigrew, who was a paramedic in Iraq. "And to come here, I can look at somebody that I haven't even met yet and I know they're on my team."
Creating calm through creativity and changing tomorrows for veterans.
"I'd like to possibly teach and continue my art. That is really my main goal, "said Osburg.
Scott Beaty and Visions for Vets, fine art that deserves a hand.
"This gives me another purpose,"said Pettigrew.
(© 2017 KSDK)