War Paints was founded in 2016 by a veteran U.S. Navy SEAL Rusty Noesner, and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to igniting creativity and ingenuity within military veterans.

We provide a unique and comprehensive approach to veteran reintegration that focuses on the inherent strengths of returning veterans, rather than assumed limitations.

United States agencies report:

  • 9 million Gulf War Era II veterans

  • 453,000 unemployed veterans

  • 1 million current service members expected to become veterans in the next 5 years

  • 44% of Gulf War Era II veterans document issues with reintegration

The transition to civilian life is often a complex process, and there are challenges to providing services to returning veterans including lack of awareness of the needs and stigma surrounding needing assistance. Veterans can find it difficult to simply ‘flip the switch’ and relinquish a trained part of themselves.

Early warrior cultures understood and practiced the art of balance on and off the battlefield. War Paints brings that concept into the modern day to address the issues facing our returning troops – providing a platform for veterans to utilize creative expression not only as a means to recovery from physical or mental injuries, but also as an opportunity to pursue creative passions as a vocation.

While many current programs focus on a single emergent veteran need, War Paints seeks to help veterans build skills and guide participants in business and vocational tradecrafts – encouraging entrepreneurship and providing sustaining benefits for participants.


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