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Chairs of Honor helps share veterans stories

chairs of honor
Posted at 7:19 PM, Mar 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 10:09:44-04

WESTFIELD — Inside his woodworking shop at his Westfield home is where Roy Adams now finds his peace.

"It’s a very therapeutic thing for me," said Adams. "A lot of veterans struggle with mental health and this has been my pathway for a lot of emotional and mental healing."

Adams served 20 years in the Army as an infantry officer and spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"What amazed me about my time in combat is every single soldier there signed up to go to war," said Adams.

Adams says he wanted to find a way to preserve that honor and those stories. It's where his woodworking skill comes in and more specifically making chairs.

chairs of honor

"What could I do with this idea, with a chair and story," said Adams.

Two years ago, Adams created Chairs of Honor, the idea is a chair is made for a specific veteran or organization. Those veterans sit down, record their story and it gets digitally attached to the chair and put on the Chairs of Honor website.

"That chair and veteran are connected forever and the family gets the preservation of the history of their service member and we get the benefit from the story as well," said Adams.

The chairs are being made by Adams and four other chair makers across the country. Right now they have between 12 to 15 chairs done or in the works.

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One of those chairs is at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.

"We wanted to do something that was a little more than just a plaque or area that you would walk by something," said Dr. Christie Lodics, the Women Veteran Program Manager.

The VA is celebrating 100 years of healthcare for women veterans.

"We wanted it to universalize women and what they bring to the table," said Lodics. "Every time you go near the chair or just sit in it, it feels like love."

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Adams hopes veterans find that comfort in sitting down and being vulnerable enough to share their stories. He knows it's not an easy ask having sat down himself to record his.

"For me it’s important that my kids understand what we did and the sacrifices that we made and not just me personally, but those around me and they understand the importance of serving other people and serving humanity and in a noble way," said Adams.

Adams says he's looking toexpand and create a mobile workshop to reach more veterans.

If you want to nominate a veteran you can visit this page.