SOURCE: Help Hospitalized Veterans

Help Hospitalized Veterans

February 25, 2011 16:09 ET

Challenger Search & Rescue Vet Finds Healing Through the Arts With Help Hospitalized Veterans

WINCHESTER, CA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2011) - Wendell Henderson from Jackson, Mississippi was a responder to one of our nation's most heart-wrenching events -- the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. At the time, Henderson was in the Coast Guard stationed in Clearwater, Florida.

"After the launch most folks went outside trying to catch a glimpse of the shuttle, while some hung back watching the broadcast. We were all riveted on the mission, but eventually it was apparent something went wrong. Soon enough the search and rescue alarm sounded and everyone scrambled to work," said Henderson. "We were stunned -- it was just plain disbelief. We all knew something wasn't right and that the Challenger crew was most likely gone," he added.

Henderson received a Commendation medal for his work in the Challenger search and rescue and it's something that he will never forget. After eight years in the Coast Guard Henderson was honorably discharged. A time came, however, when buildup of setbacks and other personal issues compelled Henderson to seek treatment at a VA medical facility. It was during his hospitalization at the Jackson VA Medical Center that Henderson was introduced to the rehabilitative therapy of arts & crafts. Reluctant at first, he decided to try one to relieve boredom.

"I found when I was working on the crafts I wasn't having cravings associated with my addiction," said Henderson. "Working on the arts & crafts kits are a big part of my ongoing recovery. When I'm concentrating on a kit I'm not as inclined to succumb to those old urges," he added. Henderson is participating in the Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) therapeutic arts & crafts kits program. HHV is the largest supplier of free craft kits to VA and military hospitals worldwide. Since 1971, HHV has donated over 28 million therapeutic arts & crafts. For more information on HHV programs and services visit or phone 1-888-567-VETS.

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