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Ret. SSG Leslie Wohlfeld

After 26 years of military service that included time in Afghanistan, Retired Staff Sergeant Leslie A. Wohlfeld spends day and night in a self-described “silent world” recovering from the physical and emotional effects of war. Her physical wounds include knee, ankle and foot injuries that cannot be corrected by orthopaedic surgery as too many systems have been damaged. These have left her able to stand and walk only for short periods of time. After about 20 minutes, the pain becomes too much to bear. She also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and several other chronic medical conditions. Encouraged by Melanie Zarabi, an art therapist, and Dr. Amy Malkin-Ingoglia, a clinical psychologist, both at the Brooklyn Campus of the V.A. New York Harbor Healthcare System, Wohlfeld has found that creating art helps her to process her combat and war experiences.


16.5 x 11.5 in.

Multi Photo Layers

The three images in this collage show the mountains surrounding Wohlfeld’s base of operations in Bagram, Afghanistan, the tents they called home, and the base’s American flag. “Why the title ‘Peace’?” she asks. “Seeing our flag and those mountains brought a sense of peace to the chaos of war. Maybe one day I will find this same sense of peace in my small world of recovery.”