BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
The Defense Logistics Agency’s Battle Creek-based Morale, Welfare and Recreation Family Program and local Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office came together to host a “Healing Rocks” event at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center Nov. 3.
Rock painting is an established therapeutic tool historically used to assist in treatment of a variety of metal health issues, including anxiety, panic and post-traumatic stress disorder. The event was intended to facilitate a relaxing experience for individuals who experienced either military sexual trauma or post-traumatic stress. Additionally, individuals who desire to support survivors were invited to participate as well.
Healing Rocks tied into the joint themes for the month of November: Stress Management Month and Military Family Month.
The painting event focused on providing a form of stress relief for members of the Battle Creek DLA team. DLA Disposition Services Family Program Manager Lisa Grenon heralded the event’s potential, saying that it can be “quite cathartic to release strong emotions through the form of art.”
DLA Disposition Services Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Robin Rogers expressed appreciation for the shared mission of the event. “Anytime the community can come together to support survivors, it makes a huge impact on awareness and healing.”
104 rocks were individually hand painted by an employee from the local Duncan Aviation paint shop. White primer was applied by hand once it was discovered that the paint sprayed by a pneumatic paint gun failed to properly adhere to the rocks.
“Initially, we had 20 people registered, but by the end of the event we had twice that amount who sat down and painted,” Grenon said. “With 40 people coming and going, it didn’t appear like that many people at the time; however we were very pleased with the turn out.”
The atmosphere was lively, with music performed live by the all-veteran, local “The Band 138.”
Employees painted rocks with varying styles and approaches. Finished examples ranged from uplifting messages to landscapes and abstract styles.
The 49 finished rocks will be displayed throughout the landscaping on federal center grounds.