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VetsTurn: Woodturning Equipment and Training Provided to US Veterans By ToolMetrix

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Minnesota woodworking content creator Paul Mayer extends VetsTurn program to welcome an additional six US veterans in 2021.

LAKEVILLE, Minn. - eTradeWire -- VetsTurn is a veteran program led by YouTuber Paul Mayer (channel name "ToolMetrix") that provides a complete setup of woodturning equipment, along supplies, training and ongoing support to selected US Combat Veterans. The program was started in 2019, and through funding from ToolMetrix and other sponsors it has awarded woodturning systems to eight US veterans. The results and feedback from participants have been extremely positive. In 2021 the VetsTurn is now accepting applications for an additional of six veteran members, bringing the total membership in the program to fourteen.

Woodturners know that there is an undeniable element of relaxation that goes along with it. For many of us, the calming and mesmerizing effect of peeling off ribbons of wood becomes a form of therapy. Over the years I have met several military veterans who have found this deep soothing benefit to bring considerable relief to the ongoing stresses that they experience, stemming from their time spent in a theater of combat. Army Ranger veteran Burle Christopherson explains "Turning is the only activity that I've found that can consistently get my mind to a peaceful place. I literally cannot stay stressed and turn wood at the same time". Each of these encounters got me thinking... How can I combine my love of woodturning with my gratitude and respect toward our military veterans? With all of the friendships that I've developed over the past 25 years of woodworking, surely someone else would find interest in serving our heroes along with me. I had a series of conversations with friends and colleagues. The interest was strong and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. VetsTurn was born.

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VetsTurn has a triple meaning; 1) Veterans turning wood, 2) Veterans turning their stresses into joy, and 3) Veterans have done their services; now it's the vets' turn for some fun.  In 2019 we awarded a complete woodturning package to three recipients. In 2020 we welcomed an additional five recipients into the program. We met in a large group on multiple Zoom calls for training and support, and local volunteers provided on-site training for several of the recipients. In addition to the woodturning education provided on the Zoom calls, the group has begun to form strong bonds to create an additional element of support.

The results have been outstanding. "Woodturning has proven to be a great art form to help me relax and clear my thoughts," says Omar Gonzalez, 2019 VetsTurn recipient. "When I'm peeling beautiful ribbons of wood and resin, I feel a deep sense of peace, calmness and satisfaction."

Details for the 2021 program giveaway can be found on the ToolMetrix YouTube channel.  https://youtu.be/anYA8dyUTtU

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Source: ToolMetrix, LLC
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