Sunday, October 8, 2017

PTSD Female Veteran Helps Others With Open Studio and Heart

Serving her own
Albuquerque Journal
By Elaine D. BriseƱo / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Sunday, October 8th, 2017

"Not only did she endure all the horrors that come with combat, but lived in constant fear of being sexually assaulted again."

Sitting on the floor of her KD Neeley studio, Katie Neeley, 33, looks through a sketchbook she kept while she was serving in the military. Neeley uses the gallery space to host fundraisers for local nonprofit groups, especially those that support veterans. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Katie Neeley has always considered herself an artist but said when she reached adulthood she lost her voice and inspiration.

“I got to a point in my studies where I could draw or paint anything,” she said. “But I felt like I had nothing offer. I had no life experience.”

Neeley, 33, decided joining the military would give her that life experience while giving her some direction. That decision would send her on a dark path that ended with a suicide attempt and hospitalization. Now the former Marine is using her experience, and money, to help other veterans dealing with the emotional ramifications of their military service.

The Albuquerque native opened the KD Neeley studio in the heart of Downtown and uses the gallery to not only display the work of local artists but as a place to host fundraisers. The gallery is located on Fourth Street just north of Central.
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