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From PTSD To Pas De Bourrée, The Combat Veteran ‘Saved’ By Dance

courtesy of Alfredo Hurtado

When Alfredo Hurtado signed up to become a member of an Army military police unit, he figured he would be eating donuts and sitting in cars all day. Then the Sept. 11 attacks happened. Hurtado found himself guarding the twisted, dark corridors of the Pentagon, then detaining prisoners in Afghanistan. On his next deployment, to Iraq, his convoy hit an improvised explosive device that left Hurtado injured and in pain. 

As he racked up a long list of medications he started losing count of reasons to live. Finally, when his wife gave him a notebook in which to express himself, the words that poured out of him seemed to have a rhythm. He ended up producing a CD, then getting involved in music and movement-oriented workshops through the Black Box Dance Theatre

Today he is a collaborator and dancer with that group, as well as a husband and father. Host Frank Stasio talks to Hurtado about how he recognized the humanity in others during war and regained it for himself through dance. Alfredo Hurtado will be leading a dance workshop for veterans in December through the United Arts Council Vet Arts Program.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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