ABC7 Salutes dance movement program that offers peace, purpose to veterans

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- At a program called The Veterans Project, the belief is that movement offers peace and purpose, especially for service members.

"After the military, I felt really dejected," said Air Force Veteran Shannon Corbeil. "I lost a lot of my confidence and my self-esteem. This program physically forced me to push myself past physical boundaries that I had set for myself, and I realized that I could do the things that I didn't think that I could."

The constantly moving choreography from the professionals at "DIAVOLO" is definitely a challenge, but one the veterans have loved conquering. The on-stage journey also lets them share very personal stories.

"It's about the veterans. It's about healing them," executive producer Jennifer Chang said. "It's about showing appreciation and showing support at a time of need for them."

Artistic director Jacques Heim echoed those sentiments.

"We're here to restore the mental and physical aspect," he said. "For them to believe again in themselves that they can do it. They can be in society and make it. Movement helps. Movement, in a way, is medicine."

For Christopher Loverro, an Army veteran, this has been a prescription for a healthier life.

"This has probably saved my life," he said. "When I returned from Iraq, I was diagnosed with acute symptoms of PTSD, and I almost took my life. I almost became one of the statistics that you read about. And this is the first time - and I've been out a decade, over a decade - this is the first time I have truly felt at peace."

The Veterans Project is gaining momentum. This program from DIAVOLO is heading to Washington, D.C. next month for three performances at the Kennedy Center.
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