Zyra’s Story

Avatar HDYS | January 11, 2022 1 Like

"The basic values, army values, I can see them in my paintings. It's almost like it's internalized.

Today, we have an extraordinary story to share—one that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for bravery, resilience, and the transformative power of art.

In our latest video, we delve into the life of Zyra, the first female commander in combat. Join us as we explore her remarkable journey and the impact she has made both on and off the battlefield.

Here's a quick rundown of the key takeaways from the episode:🎖️

5 Keys You'll Learn:

1. The challenges and triumphs of being a female soldier in a male-dominated field, and the awe-inspiring experience it can be.

2. The power of respect and the lasting confidence it can instill, even in the face of adversity.

3. How art can provide solace, healing, and a means of expression, as Zyra discovered when she started painting.

4. The deeper impact of army values on soldiers, both during their service and throughout their lives, transforming not just their professional careers but also their families and personal endeavors.

5. The importance of providing art opportunities to veterans, particularly those who have experienced significant loss, to help them rebuild their lives and find meaning.

Where would I be without my art? Because I get up in the morning excited. I want to paint because it takes me somewhere else, and I feel like I'm helping somebody else with my art."

In a world often dominated by male voices, it takes a remarkable individual to break barriers and pave the way for others.  Her incredible journey as a soldier, her personal struggles, and her transformative relationship with art are nothing short of inspiring.

Zyra's early years were marked by a lack of stability and absentee parents. Seeking discipline and structure, she enlisted in the army at the age of 18, motivated to bring order to her life. Little did she know that this decision would shape her future in unimaginable ways. With unwavering commitment, Zyra fearlessly served in a male-dominated field as a female soldier. During her time in the army, she outranked her male counterparts and earned widespread respect, even during deployments to places like Panama and Honduras. This experience not only boosted her confidence but also shattered the glass ceiling, proving that gender should never be a limitation. Like many soldiers, Zyra faced her share of challenging moments and traumatic experiences. The loss of a young trainee, whom she had trained alongside, deeply affected her, leaving her with feelings of guilt for not being there. To cope with her emotions, Zyra turned to art, finding solace and a channel for her pain and healing.

 Zyra discovered a powerful means of expression that allowed her to process and release her emotions. Art became her sanctuary, helping her rebuild herself and find meaning in her life. The act of creating art provided her with a sense of purpose. Grateful for the positive impact that art had on her life, Zyra recognized a need among her fellow veterans. Many lacked access to resources and art classes, preventing them from experiencing the therapeutic benefits of art. Determined to make a difference, Zyra became passionate about providing art opportunities to her comrades, particularly older veterans who had endured significant loss. During her lowest points, Zyra explored various avenues, including counseling. However, she found that focusing on her art had a much deeper impact. Through painting, she was able to confront and embrace a wide range of emotions, from anger to sadness and joy. It allowed her to see and feel her own experiences in a profoundly personal way. Zyra's commitment to art therapy led her to pursue a career in art and counseling for veterans and first responders. She believes that art classes have a unique power to bring people together and create an entirely different shared experience. While she acknowledges that art is not a substitute for medical help and counseling, she firmly advocates for its inclusion in the healing process.


Zyra's journey from a troubled past to becoming an influential figure in the military and art therapy world is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Her unwavering determination to break barriers and provide support for her fellow veterans is truly commendable. Through art, Zyra has not only found her own healing but has also become a guiding light of inspiration for others.

I'm not saying painting is a cure all because I do believe in medical help counseling, but I do feel like art and art therapy have helped me tremendously."


💡 Fun Fact: Did you know that Zyra initially didn't recognize the significance of her job when she was stationed at the Pentagon Health Clinic? However, her experience there changed her perspective, leading her to make a career transition to become a military police officer. We couldn't be more thrilled to share Zyra's incredible story with you. It serves as a shining example of the strength and resilience found within our armed forces and the transformative power of art in healing and self-discovery.

As we wrap up, we want to extend a heartfelt invitation to join us in spreading awareness of the benefits of art therapy and supporting fellow veterans. Together, let's make a difference in their lives and show our gratitude for their sacrifices.

"the experience of a female soldier serving in a male dominated field was amazing.'"

Share this powerful video with your friends, family, and social media networks to inspire conversations and foster a deeper understanding of the importance of art therapy for veterans. Your support can make a significant impact on someone's life.

Thank you for being a valued member of our community.


Stay tuned for more captivating episodes as we continue to explore the untold stories that shape and inspire the incredible men and women who serve our country.