ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)- Natalie Lopez has been painting her whole life, but recently, her art has transformed into more than a painted canvas.
"At some sense, I felt a slight relief, but the relief is only temporary, it's a temporary fix", explained Lopez.
After meeting Ernesto Rodriguez, a veteran currently walking across the United States to help spread awareness of the 22 veterans who commit suicide, her life changed.
"I give all my thanks to Ernesto for helping me and sharing my art." Lopez told KRBC.
Natalie has even designed shirts for Rodriguez in honor of his walk, and since then, more veterans and organizations have noticed her paintings and messages behind them.
"I have gotten quite a few commissions as well and their organizations that support the 22."
This month, she was invited to "A Toast to the Heroes", an event put on by the Combat Wounded Coalition in November.
"I got to meet veterans and purple hearts and navy seals, and I shook one veterans hand, and our 22 Kill Rings touched and we just looked at each other and knew exactly how we both felt", said Lopez.
One man named "Chico", who she met through her paintings, told her about his organization called End 22, which he formed after his son, who served, committed suicide.
"He sent me a letter and he said one of my paintings reminded him of his son, and what he went through, and at the end of the letter he said I want to thank you. I didn't know what to think." Said Lopez.
She never would have thought that her talents would send her so far and inspire others who struggle with PTSD on a day-to-day basis.
"I thought that I would just be painting like anyone else, and I didn't know it would hit hard, and it certainly hit a lot of lives and a lot of veterans."
NOLAN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Multiple fires…
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Severe storms pushed…