Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Daniel Williams. Daniel served in the Marines from 2000 to 2004 and wrote the song “Breathe In, Breathe Out” as part of Operation Song.
Daniel served as an assaultman and served in Iraq. In “Breathe In, Breathe Out”, Daniel describes many of the challenges he faced during his service. The song serves as a powerful story about some of the difficulties that he and many others faced.
“We came home to peace, but we fight each day.”
After his service, Daniel worked a number of jobs, including at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and for the National Parks Service. He currently works as a horse trainer and with Operation Song.
“Breathe in, breathe out, ignore the screams and hear the shouts.”
With the help of the volunteers at Operation Song, Daniel wrote “Breathe In, Breathe Out.” Daniel described writing his first draft as “an emotionally draining experience.” He worked with the volunteers to make his idea into a coherent, chronological piece that then become “Breathe In, Breathe Out”.
“Just tell yourself, breathe in, breathe out.”
Daniel has enjoyed working with Operation Song and believes the work they do is very important. The organization has helped him and many other Veterans cope after returning from combat.
Thank you for your service, Daniel!
You can listen to Daniels’ Song “Breathe In, Breathe Out” on Soundcloud here:
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Operation Song™ has spent the last five years bringing songwriting to the military and Veteran community to help with healing, service-related issues and injuries. A 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Nashville, Operation Song™ holds weekly workshops in Middle Tennessee and sponsors events and group retreats throughout the Southeast. Those they serve need no musical background, only the desire to tell their story. In a typical session, the songwriter listens and encourages the participant to lay out the “puzzle pieces” of his or her experience. Together, they arrange those pieces into verses and choruses. The result is a complete song that they can call their own. Operation Song serves Veterans of all conflicts. For more information about Operation Song™, visit their website: http://www.operationsong.org/
Graphic By Kierra Willis: Kierra Willis is a Graphic Communication Major at the University of Maryland University College. She currently has an AAS in Graphic Design and Visual Communications.