Nonprofit group turns military uniforms into paper for veterans to create artwork

Some veterans from New Jersey have discovered that art is a great way for them to tell their stories of service to the United States and of what they faced during and after their time in the military.
Vietnam veteran and artist Walt Nygard is the studio manager at Branchburg-based Frontline Paper, where donated military uniforms are turned to pulp, then dried into paper, to become personal works of art created by veterans.
“We deconstruct our uniforms. We reclaim them as paper and we communicate our stories as art,” Nygard says.
Just as uniforms are transformed, the process of turning something from a soldier's past into a meaningful message can be powerful, according to Nygard.
“I held the paper in my hand and the emotional intensity of it was immediate for me,” he says.
The program is now collecting hospital uniforms, because health care workers are on a front line of a different kind – battling COVID-19. Nygard says that they may also need some healing of their own.
Frontline Paper is a nonprofit organization, which has seen many fundraising sources dry up because of the pandemic. More information about the organization and how to donate can be found on its website.