Freeport, Illinois – It begins as a story out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A guitar instructor was introduced to Vietnam-era Marine.
The marine suffered from lasting effects of combat, but he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. After a few months of working together, the guitar instructor and the Marine discovered that with a guitar in his hand and the same strong spirit that helped him throughout his time in Vietnam, he was finally able to genuinely become free from the lasting effects of combat through music. The guitar provided a ray of light and hope and expression.
The two immediately shared what they learned with Veterans at The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and Guitars for Vets was born. Over the past seven years, the organization has refined a guitar instruction program aimed at providing Veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress a unique supportive program. Guitars For Vets has fulfilled over 20,000 lessons and distributed over 2,000 FREE guitars to military veterans.
Today, Guitars for Vets is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization started in 2007. They currently operate more than 50 chapters in 25 states with the assistance of over 200 volunteers nationwide. One of those chapters is in Rockford, Illinois.
When Debra Green, owner of Black Diamond Music Studio in Freeport heard of Guitars for Vets she knew she wanted to help here in Freeport. On Tuesday July 26 at 7:00 p.m. Black Diamond Music Studio will present the Guitars for Vets group from Rockford. The members get together for Open Mic, Lessons, Jam Sessions, Fundraisers and they’ll be here Tuesday at Logan’s Bar & Grill for Open Mic.
Thousands of our war Veterans are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, more soldiers have committed suicide since the Vietnam War than have died in actual battle. But many are finding hope in an unlikely place: behind the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar. The healing power of music helps soldiers cope.
If you’re a veteran, know a veteran, would like to meet some friends and explore the opportunity of music, come out to Logan’s Tuesday July 26 at 7:00 p.m. Come meet the Rockford Chapter of Guitars for Vets, listen to some great music and who knows, maybe try your hands at music yourself.
Cover photo: http://www.guitars4vets.org/