33rd Boro Platoon: Torchworking for US Vets

A glass art program for vets.

A glass art program for vets.

Camaraderie and creativity in civilian life.

Jeff Rutherford is an Iraqi veteran, former Marine, and glass artist. He’s the founder of the 33rd Boro Platoon Program.

He discovered torchworking through a SGS program with Pima Community College after returning from Iraq. After a rocky reintroduction to civilian life, he discovered new ways to express himself and life-changing opportunities through torchworking.

Online fundraising for 33rd Boro Platoon: Flameworking Program for American VetsToday, he hopes introducing fellow returning vets to glass art torchworking might help them the way it helped him.

“When I first got back it was so intense I couldn’t work. I couldn’t be in public places without having panic attacks and flashbacks. I never talked about it. I just bottled it up inside. But then I started torching and blowing glass, and over years of hard work and lots of frustration my PTSD has gotten better. Glassblowing has saved my life.”

Rutherford with Renowned Glass Artist Eunsuh Choi

And when people started recognizing and purchasing his work (enough sometimes to where he needed an assistant just to keep up) he experienced a renewed sense of calm and purpose.

Jeff Rutherford now hopes torchworking does the same for some of his fellow vets. That’s what the 33rd Boro Platoon program is all about.

Make Jeff’s Mission a Reality

Your donation directly funds a vet to participate in the 33rd Boro Platoon Program. Our goal is to offer this program completely free of charge to 6 returning men and women in uniform. In order to do that, we need $800 per veteran ($100 for every week of the program).

To make a contribution today, visit the donation page.

About the Instructor
Jeff Rutherford competing at the 2014 Flame Off

Jeff Rutherford competing at the 2014 Flame Off

Rutherford believes there’s a therapeutic nature to working with glass and a need for other types of therapy beyond round table support groups. Jeff has decided to teach glass art classes exclusively for veterans adjusting to civilian life.

“My goal for these classes is to help other vets come to terms with their past while opening a door to a bright future…by teaching the skills needed to competently work with glass as an art form while continuing the camaraderie and brotherhood the vets already share. Hopefully, as the students continue with the classes, they’ll hone in new skills to help them regain the confidence needed to ‘re-enter’ the civilian world with a positive attitude, and a desire to make a positive impact.”

Former Marine Rutherford in Iraq

Former Marine Rutherford in Iraq

The first class will be offered at Sonoran Glass School starting Sunday August 17, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. It’s an eight-week program that takes place once a week on Sundays.

But we need your help to make it happen.

Several vets have already committed to participating in the program but there are a few slots left. If you are a vet or know a vet that would like to take this class, please contact Jeff via email: 33rdboroplatoon@gmail.com.

Click here to donate today.