The Guitar For Heroes Program applies the therapy of learning new skills and meditative power of music to improve the quality of life for our disabled Vets. @TheIzzyRock joined a group of veterans and band members at the Beavercreek VFW to discuss their backgrounds and the new program that began in the Miami Valley in September 2018.
Our History: The Ft Worth Guitars for Heroes Program was introduced by Donna Gerron at the Ft Worth VA Out Patient Clinic Recreation Therapy Services in 2012. The focus of the therapy program is to enhance the lives of the military veteran by providing them with an acoustic guitar and free basic guitar instructions. Through self expression and the healing power of music, it is our intent to restore the feelings of joy and renew their purpose in life after suffering from various traumatic situations.
Our Mission: To encourage all Veterans the Opportunity for self expression and relationship building through music.
Overview: The program is a 12 session (1 hour a week) provided by free instructions, if needed a new acoustic guitar and guitar accessory kit if you can not afford one or is in a hardship. It’s in a structured program run by volunteers. It’s is overseen by a recreational therapist at the Ft Worth VA Out Patient Clinic.
History of Program: Program was started in 2012, in the first few years there was two 12 week course a year. Winter session starting in January and a fall session starting in September. All these are beginner classes. Last couple years we have added an intermediate class for those veterans who wanted a few more classes. For each class per 12 week session we sign up 12 to 18 veterans.
Since the beginning of the program, Jan 2012. There has been over 500 veterans gone through the Guitars for Heroes program. That’s so amazing. So many veterans dealing with PTSD, TBI, Stroke and other medical issues.
Ft Worth Guitars 4 Heroes Band was started many years ago after the 12 week session would end. But it was more like a group. One of the major supporters from even from the beginning was the Ft worth Elks Lodge. So after the 12 week course of instruction and learning a couple 3 songs, the Elks would invite the Guitars for Heroes over to play for them and have dinner with them at the Lodge.
Now with the chance to start the second Guitars for Heroes Program is great. Dayton OH just happen to be the place since Ron Burns was relocating there. Jan 2019, the first session for the Dayton Guitars for Heroes will start the Guitar classes. Also The Dayton Guitars 4 Heroes Band was established.
Thanks to Wayne, Art, Al, Tyrone, and Ron for sharing their story.
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