Veterans live with the reality of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, every day. Philadelphia RO employees Jordan Ketner and Jerry Grantland, Jr. found a unique way to help raise awareness and funds for PTSD services.
Using the power of music to unite and inspire, they were both cast in a reality web show that featured three all-Veteran bands. The web series was a 10-week journey filled with challenges and surprises and ending with a benefit concert that raised money for Veterans with PTSD through Bands of Brothers, a non-profit dedicated to letting veterans know there is hope, connecting them with people who can help, and raising money for PTSD research and treatment.
You can watch their journey here.
Jordan and Jerry did not know each other before the contest. They worked together to learn new songs to perform on stage. Their bond, however, went much deeper – the connection that is formed from the shared experience of being a Veteran. Jordan and Jerry both know Veterans with PTSD, which made each of them believe strongly in the Band of Brothers cause and in the unifying effect of music.
Bands of Brothers TV followed Jordan and Jerry’s story from the time they first met through the final benefit show. They were guided by instructors from the Cherry Hill School of Rock and given advice from celebrity musicians, professional stylists and sound engineers.
Jordan, who started at VA as a VSR and is now a management analyst with Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), served as an 82nd Airborne infantryman based out of Fort Bragg, NC and completed a tour of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Jerry, a claims assistant in the Veterans Service Center, served in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, one tour in Iraq, and as part of the Joint-Integrated-Improvised-Explosive-Device-Operation (JIIEDO-2006). Each enjoys working for VA because of the “vast reach it has to the population of Veterans.”
Maureen Bail is a program assistant for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program at the Philadelphia VA Regional Office.