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Painting Brings Joy to Severely Injured Warrior and His Wife

Life can change in an instant, taking away the independence we’ve become accustomed to. Fernando Martinez spent more than 15 years defending our nation’s freedoms in the Marine Corps Reserve until a wreck took away his personal independence.

The driver fell asleep, and Fernando sustained two traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the crash. He lost his ability to speak, so now he communicates with facial expressions, hand-waving, eye-rolling, and grunting. He also points to phrases, such as “I love you,” “yes,” and “no,” or letters to spell out words.

“He can say certain small words with prompting, as I believe he forgets he has the ability to speak,” said Suzanne, Fernando’s wife.

Fernando is also wheelchair-bound, which limits his and Suzanne’s chances to travel and do usual errands.

Learn more about how art therapy helped Fernando and his wife in the July issue of Homeland Magazine

Contact: Rachel Bolles — Public Relations,, 904.760.2425

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