Veterans Reshaping Their Lives Through Glass Blowing
TULSA, Oklahoma - Veterans Day is Sunday and Tulsa has a lot of programs designed to help veterans who need it, but we only know of one that features a furnace heated to more than 2,000 degrees.
Fourth and fifth graders from Robertson Elementary School have been watching Ian Hutchinson turn a lump of molten glass into a bowl. What they don’t know is that, while Ian reshapes that glass into something new, he’s also reshaping himself.
“It’s unreal what it’s done for my life,” he said.
Ian is a veteran who described himself for 10 years as lost, hopeless, and homeless, then he found the Vetri program at Tulsa Glass Blowing School. “Vetri” is Italian for “glass,” but to the vets in the program, it also means veteran reintegration.
The reintegration has been so successful for Ian that he now works there and with other vets coming through.
“I’m now giving back what’s given to me,” he said.
Another vet who has been through that program is Taylor Cox.
“Coming home from Iraq, I dealt with homelessness for about three years,” said Cox.
He’s been volunteering for a little over a year and has created some really nice pieces.
“It takes a group of people to be able to create one piece of beauty,” he said.
That teamwork, he says, gives veterans back that sense of brotherhood they had when they were in the military and then lost when they got out.
“It’s something that is literally shaping and changing my life,” Cox said.
More than 80 veterans have been through the Vetri program.