Songwriting Brings Vets Together


(Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post)

Last month, I wrote about an upcoming program at Walter Reed that will help injured troops use writing to cope with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury—a program that could benefit folks as an extra mode of treatment for physical and mental injuries. Now, other programs look to help troops and Veterans on the road to recovery.

A songwriting camp for Veterans in Colorado recently brought together a group of Iraq and Afghanistan Vets to speak about their wartime experience with musicians, who in turn crafted powerful songs from their own words:

“There is a huge divide in our culture between civilian and military,” Smith said. “I wanted to help in some little way to be a bridge and use songs as a structure for this bridge.”

The songs are poignant tales of the difficulties, uncertainties and victories of military life. Lyrics are the vets’ own words, pulled out in interviews and conversations with the musicians.

Check out the video at the link above for a look at how the songs came together, as well as the photo slideshow. Songs from last year’s camp were performed live and can be purchased on iTunes.

As we’ve discussed before, there are ways to treat physical and mental injuries that go beyond prescriptions and therapy. Sometimes what works best for a Veteran can’t be found in a hospital or clinic, but somewhere out in the world of creation.

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7 Comments to “Songwriting Brings Vets Together”

  1. What an awesome program! Will be checking out the iTunes list, for sure!

  2. victor a rivera says:

    Am PTDS two years ago expect not responded…Florida Veteran Affair of Fla .
    Discrimed me no res ponded St Peterburg…..
    Somebody help to change Florida veteran Affair to other ..gov of fla get faith to me;because cuban area discrimed …no belong to Lenin…Only Obama
    Last four xxx xx 1337 Victor A Rivera Email r_victora@yahoo.com(army)

  3. vets wife says:

    To whom this may concern. I have a question? Does anyone from the VA look at the older blogs/replies and post them. example prior month december. TY

  4. TRex says:

    True, there is a strong divide between civilian and military worlds, but there’s no way to bridge it. That’s a good thing. Civilians will never understand war, or military life. Just don’t tell THEM that. And definitely don’t even think about putting them on a battlefield.

  5. John Cali says:

    My name is John and I have been suffering from PTSD for ten years now. I have tried many different therapies, including EMDR, hypnosis and a multitude of medications. I have been hospitalized 6 times in the past 9 years for PTSD and suicidal ideation. I write about my struggles on my blog and I try to describe exactly what it is like to be suffering from PTSD.

    You can read what it is like for someone with PTSD here.

    http://veteransguide.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-is-it-like-to-have-ptsd.html

  6. NJen says:

    It would be nice to implement the writing and music as part of the core curriculum when a vet attends college… and free of charge; at least have a social club for vets.