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About the Artist

Will Hatley is a Navy veteran who bravely served his country, but the trauma of his experiences in the military left him struggling with PTSD. Seeking a way to cope with it, Hatley turned to art and began experimenting with colored pencils. Through his art, Hatley found a way to express himself and work through the challenges of PTSD. His artwork often features intricate, detailed images that showcase his talent and dedication to his craft. As an artist, Hatley has not only found a therapeutic outlet for himself, but also inspires others with his journey and artistic creations.

Sept. 19, 2017 Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston.

Veterans Legal Services honored Will with the 2017 Outstanding Veterans’ Advocate Award. Here he is standing next to his original painting, "The Patriot", which he donated to their charity auction to assist with Veterans' legal fees.  The painting sold for 3500.00 His nomination read as follows:

"Will Hatley honorably served our country at a time when doing so was unpopular. As a Boatswains Mate, he was responsible for many of the difficult, unappreciated jobs on board ship. These included: standing watch all hours of the day, scraping and painting the ship, and maintaining the small boats andequipment topside. Upon leaving the military he struggled adjusting to civilian life. But learning from

those struggles, he has now dedicated his life to helping other veterans struggling to make that adjustment. It is for his work on behalf of our veterans that I am nominating Will for this award. As part of the Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) program, Will works with veterans helping them to obtain housing, find jobs and much more. Having walked in their shoes, he has a good way of communicating so that they listen. Will coordinates with over 70 federal, state, and local resources to get Massachusetts veterans the financial, legal, physical and emotional support they need to get back on

their feet. He partners with the Veterans Legal Services to provide free legal services for over 250 Veterans a year.

The Financial Round table that Will has developed, which is attended monthly, puts 260 disabled veterans a month in contact with financial advisors, career counselors, tax consultants, mortgage networks and education experts.

Through Will’s efforts, both collaboratives have allowed disabled Veterans to come out of the shadows and become productive members of the community.  They have addressed long outstanding legal issues, repaired credit, bought homes and pursued careers.  Often, they are even reunited with their

families. None of this would have happened were it not for Will. That makes him, a true Hero Among Us.

Will Hatley was honored to accept the Heroes Among Us Award from the Boston Celtics during a game on January 11th, 2020

Veteran Will Hatley shares his story of recovery on June 29, 2015 at a ribbon cutting for housing for homeless Veterans over 55. 

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August 9, 2019, Will walks to the mound to throw the first pitch, honored by the Lowell Spinners and Hanscom Federal Credit Union for his work advocating for Veterans.

Tony and Will photo credit: Stephen Lipofsky

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