Forging A Community For U.S. Veterans

Through community art projects, the veteran organization Elder Hearts is empowering veterans and raising awareness.
veterans metal art
Elder Heart's first project is underway in Nashville, IN.|Photo by Sean Utley

I am a former soldier, from a long line of Welsh/Scotch conscripts, warriors and mercenaries. Upon leaving the Army after three tours of duty, I was indifferent to the daily actions required of me until I discovered metal art.

A forge was given to me and I was taught a few things. Instantly I loved iron and fire. Smash, burn, temper and shape—fundamental raw creation! I am a lot of things, but when I am forging I am free. For some reason unknown to me I know that I can make the iron do what I need as long as I am willing to be patient and work.

Some say when you bang the anvil three times in the morning that you are releasing the devil. When I bang the anvil three times in the morning I am creating a beautiful world around me with iron and fire. With it we created Elder Heart.—Magnus Johnson

RELATED: ELDER HEART RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT VETERAN SUICIDE

tomahawk

One-of-a-kind tomahawks with inlays of brass, silver and unique twists and patterns.

Editor’s note: Everyday in the U.S., 22 veterans commit suicide—that’s 8,030 per year! Author Magnus Johnson, along with a small group of his elite special operations warrior brothers, has created the 501(c)(3) organization called Elder Heart with the mission of helping veterans heal from PTSD and related conditions. Elder Heart is a platform created to facilitate the warrior healing process in partnership with the key element—society—using veteran-led community art projects. These amazing works of art will be lasting testaments to the veteran-community bond and help members of a given community gain a better understanding of the plight most veterans experience when reintegrating to society. In keeping with the “metal art” theme, Magnus smiths one-of-a-kind tomahawks (far left) with inlays of brass, silver and unique twists and patterns are for sale at elderheart.org. All proceeds go to helping raise awareness about the 22 veteran suicides that happen every day.