Fort Belvoir art therapy program for injured veterans

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (AP) - An art therapy program used to treat U.S. soldiers with brain injuries after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan is expanding to the military hospital at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia.

On Thursday, the National Endowment for the Arts is announcing an expansion of its partnership with the Department of Defense. The program began last year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

Under a new three-month pilot program, arts therapists will use visual arts and writing activities with wounded soldiers who are diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries and psychological conditions.

Officials say patients at Walter Reed have used art therapy to relax during treatment, regulate emotions, explore their identities and to memorialize significant events.

Up to 250 patients will be treated in Fort Belvoir's art therapy program.