See the About DE-CRUIT page for an introduction to how DE-CRUIT treats trauma through Shakespeare and science.
Ran Je, California – Navy Veteran First Gulf War
In 2007, Ran Je, a Navy veteran from the First Gulf War, heard about our program in Los Angeles. At the time, Ran Je was homeless, battling addiction and suicidal thoughts. Ran Je wrote a letter to express what the work has done for him (excerpt below). Within one year of working with us, Ran Je had made progress by getting an apartment, a job, and getting into school. However, he would eventually slip back into old cycles. After three years of working with Ran Je, his healthy cycles have been getting longer than his homelessness cycles. His overall trend is improvement, and currently he has remained in VA connected housing, with a job and in school for nearly three years straight and still going.
From an unsolicited letter written by Ran Je:
…This has been a life changing experience. The teamwork aspect of performing in the plays reminded me of how important a team is and how a group is better at accomplishing goals than an individual…I got a crash course in the socialization of veterans this summer working with Mr. Stephan Wolfert…The environment was very friendly and supportive. Everyone encouraged everyone else to ask questions, try new things and to not be afraid of making mistakes.
The show must go on (and the transformations). DeCruit work is so undervalued. My experience at your workshop was like drama therapy, on steroids, for soldiers; life-changing. Thank you to all who give, and help transition countless American heroes.
Robin, Texas – Air Force Veteran
Thank you again for your selfless efforts and for pouring into our lives. Words fail me in expressing gratitude and appreciation! Grounding and breathing have become part of my daily routine, and the immediate benefits are (as you know) quite amazing. I managed to breathe my way through one particularly daunting ten hour anxiety attack, even channeling the negative energy into writing a sonnet. *Major nerd alert!* Forcing my brain to engage in the art of creativity helped quell the madness and control the overwhelming tachycardia. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and share it with you, as a tangible reminder that you are changing lives more than you’ll ever know.
Read more in-depth about Robin’s experience here
Robert, New York – Air Force Veteran
From an unsolicited text, dated June 30th, 2015:
Thanks for a great class last night. And thanks for appreciating the work I’m doing. I don’t think I responded to you in the right way last night. Still getting used to praise. But I must say this- You have been changing my life, for the better, over the last six months. I’ve become braver and more open and the world at large has been taking notice. This development falls squarely on your gentle guidance. So, thank you.
Cari, Pennsylvania – Air Force Veteran
De-Cruit has done more for me in 6 weeks than the VA has done for me in a decade. Dawn Stern, you and Stephan Wolfert are the true healers. Wish I were in a financial position to offer De-Cruit more support because you two rock….and actually help us change our lives.
Jerry, California – Army Veteran Vietnam War
Jerry is an Army veteran from the American war in Vietnam. Multiple tours, combat injury and decades-old moral injury meant that, while Jerry had seemingly “fit into society,” he secretly suffered physical and psychological pain daily. The first summer (2007) that Jerry worked with us he had never worked with Shakespeare before and was unable to memorize a single line of iambic pentameter. By his second summer he was memorizing and performing entire speeches in verse before audiences of 100-250 weekend after weekend. By his third summer Jerry, now in his sixties, went back to school for pre-law. Jerry has since been accepted to and graduated from law school, and has passed the bar exam.