The High Point Museum and High Point University once again have partnered to bring an exhibit to the Museum – “Serving Soldiers, Honoring Heroes.” A documentary photography class at High Point University taught by photographer and professor, Benita VanWinkle, worked with and photographed the organization Patriot Rovers. The exhibit will feature dogs in training and with their veterans.
The 18 students spent the first part of spring semester photographing, interviewing and going to various locations to achieve a new level of understanding of the dog training process and the obstacles that the veterans endure.
“Getting to interact with a handful of veterans was a very unique experience, Maddie Travell, a senior at High Point University, said. “Each veteran has their own heart-wrenching story and we only got a glimpse of each of them. We hope that by looking at the work we’ve documented you can better understand the things we’ve witnessed.”
A large number of military veterans across the United States suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury. In order to help aid these veterans with stress, anxiety, seizures, or any kind of physical needs, dogs are trained all across the country as service animals. Patriot Rovers, a training facility located in High Point, does just this. Founded by an Army veteran, and a canine behavioral expert, David Cantara, the non-profit organization works to give veterans access to the help they need.
“A lot of the general public, including myself before this semester, never really talk about the trauma that veterans can experience after their time in the service,” Kasey Ronan, High Point University senior, said. “After hearing from multiple veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress, it is eye opening to see how much they have to endure, and it is even more eye-opening how much these service dogs make such a positive impact with their lives. It’s a remarkable thing to experience.”
An opening reception will be held Thursday, April 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The students will provide refreshments and the service dogs that have been photographed also will be present. The photographs will be on display at the High Point Museum until Friday, July 13. To help with the cause, visit Patriot Rovers’ website www.patriotrovers.org to learn more information about the organization or to donate to help train in more dogs for more veterans.
The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, shares Greater High Point’s history, provides perspective for current issues, and strengthens the sense of community.
The City of High Point aims to serve as the catalyst for bringing together the community’s human, economic and civic resources for the purpose of creating the single most livable, safe and prosperous community in America. For more information on the City, visit www.highpointnc.gov