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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f7713f0000Veterans' Stories: Project 412 is a series of interviews created and produced by a group of Pittsburgh-area active-duty military personnel and veterans in 2014. 90.5 WESA partnered with Leadership Pittsburgh's Community Leadership Course for Veterans to shine a spotlight on area veterans from all branches of the military, who share personal memories and stories about their service in conflicts from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan.This project supported in part by a Seed Award from The Sprout Fund.

Amy Mattila: Finding An 'Open Door' In Military Service

Courtesy photo

Amy Mattila was an occupational therapist at Walter Reed Hospital while in the U.S. Army from 2005-2011. Mattila, who rose to the rank of captain, says having the opportunity to treat injured soldiers coming back from Iraq at the height of the conflict changed who she is today.

Mattila now teaches occupational therapy at Chatham University. Her experience at Walter Reed has come full circle, she says, as she now connects her students to past patients for community service work.

Mattila joined the military straight out of high school. She said stepping outside of her comfort zone provided her a skill set unequal to her peers.

“The military for some women is immediately not the right path, and it’s too similar from an environment you might have come from," she said. "But I think for many, many other women, myself included, it is just really an open door."

Mattila was interviewed by CLCV team member James Yauger, a former E-5 Sergeant with the U.S. Army. Read more about Veterans' Stories: Project 412 and its participating team members.