This is why so many veterans turn to music after war

An increasing number of studies and testimonials suggest that music heals symptoms of trauma, depression, and anxiety. As a result, veterans are being offered more music programs to help with healing after service.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence have created a music therapy program.

There are music therapists at VA hospitals across the country.

music, guitars for vets, baseFEST, tomb

Vietnam War veteran and Guitars for Vets volunteer James Robledo places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (Guitars for Vets photo)

And there are non-profit organizations like Guitars for Vets, which provides free guitar lessons — and a guitar — to veterans nationwide.

Vietnam War veteran James Robledo is a graduate of the program and the chapter coordinator at the Loma Linda chapter in California who, as a volunteer, has helped over 180 veterans graduate from the program.

“Playing the guitar takes concentration, it’s a little frustrating, it’s a challenge — but when you’re doing that, everything else disappears,” Robledo told We Are The Mighty.

Guitars for Vets — and its impact — has gained national attention. Robledo was named the 2015 National Humanitarian of the Year by the National Association of Letter Carriers, and he was invited to a music panel at the White House as well as to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

“There have been students that have come back and said because of the program they no longer have suicidal thoughts. And that’s what we’re about,” added Robledo.

guitars for vets, music, baseFEST, mission: music, non profit

It costs $200 to put a veteran through the program, and all the funding comes from donations. (Guitars for Vets photo)

Ted Peterson, a veteran of the Navy and the Army and another graduate of the program, joined Robledo (and Willie Nelson — maybe you’ve heard of him) at the White House for a panel on music in the military.

He has written songs about the military community, including one that helped provide solace after the loss of loved ones.

“Learning to play guitar has let me reinvent myself. My knees and back are pretty banged up, but I can still impact other peoples’ lives in a positive way,” said Peterson about how he uses music to help others.

To date, Guitars for Vets has administered over 25,000 guitar lessons and distributed over 2,500 guitars to Veterans, and their waiting list keeps growing, which is why We Are The Mighty has partnered up with Base*FEST powered by USAA to donate $1 (up to $10k) every time you vote for one of our veteran artists and Mission: Music finalists until Sept. 23, 2017.

Click here to vote every day!

TOP ARTICLES
This is how you fight when the waters are rising

Underwater, all the fitness in the world won't save you if you can't keep your head. But dying is dumb. Time to summon a little amphibian ambition.

One session with this trainer will make you assume the fetal position

Water Survival is so badass it's gonna take Max two episodes to get you ready to face it. This is Part 1, where he makes you feel bad about yourself.

This is what happens when a troll runs the obstacle course

Its job is to put one problem after another directly in your way. It's the o-course and your job is to run it before time runs out. Enter Max.

This is how you train for brotherhood

Our trainer will make you a leopard

There’s your enemy, right over there. And he doesn’t see you. Gotta get in him in range though. And that puts you in range. Time to get creepy.

This is what happens when you swap your workout for PT

Once upon a time you were physically fit. It was a grind, but you did it, because there was a test at the end. Good news. It's test time again.

This is how to see if you would have been drafted for Vietnam

Numbers were randomly assigned to birthdays across a given year. The lowest numbers were picked first. Would you have been drafted to go to Vietnam?

4 fictional countries America should invade

It's amazing how many movies and TV shows see countries messing with America without any repercussions. It's time for that trend to stop.

This is the laser that will take out enemy drones

This little 30 kilowatt laser packs such a mighty punch that Lockheed Martin has named her after the goddess of war: ATHENA.

The Punisher begins his Devil Dog revenge spree in new trailer

After a show-stealing turn in “Marvel’s Daredevil,” Marine veteran and human wrecking-ball Frank Castle is back with a show of his own.

THE MIGHTY SURVEY GIVE-AWAY

We want to hear your thoughts. Complete our survey for a chance to win 1 of 5 gaming consoles

COMPLETE SURVEY TO WIN