Veterans, service members find stress relief through community concerts and events


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Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and Lorde. What do these three mega-artists have in common? Their shows are helping Veterans and service members who struggle with post-traumatic stress (PTS) find new hope. While cheering crowds, roaring music and shaking stadiums may not sound like an ideal environment for Veterans or service members struggling with PTS, many Veterans are finding relief in attending these types of events. Typically, the cost alone for attending such events is preventative. But through Vet Tix, not only are Veterans and service members attending more events, they’re often attending and sitting alongside of other Veterans and service members – giving them a sense of security, helping them reintegrate into their community, and connecting them with their comrades all at the same time.

Shay (U.S. Marine Corps Veteran) attends a concert.“We had been to many concerts when we were active duty Marines, but haven’t had much time or money to go and see one in a few years. Taylor Swift’s concert was, by far, the best concert we had ever seen, and I couldn’t believe that someone was nice enough to donate these tickets. It really helped us through a rough patch we were having. He is a combat Veteran with PTSD, and I have a lot of health issues from my service, so we rarely get to do something like this without one of us being very uncomfortable. Luckily the staff, the crowd, and the location were exactly what we needed to make it an enjoyable night.” – Shay (U.S. Marine Corps Veteran)

 

 

 

Ragnar (U.S. Army Veteran) attends a concert.“The concert was incredible. The first thing I did after it was buy a couple Lorde albums to keep listening. With PTSD, having such a positive experience in a crowded location, is making me more comfortable day-to-day trusting leaving my house.”-Ragnar (U.S. Army Veteran)

 

 

 

 

Holly (USMC Veteran) attends a concert“I am a Marine Corps Veteran and joined Vet Tix to help with my PTS symptoms. I am not a fan of crowds or loud noises, and I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone. When I was donated four tickets to see Blake Shelton, my anxiety level went through the roof: 1) due to excitement and 2) I was hoping it would be something I could do successfully. Me and my ‘plus 3’ had a phenomenal night!! I am one step closer to managing my anxiety in crowds and loud noises because you donated tickets for Veterans! I’d love to go to another concert or event soon!” – (U.S. Marine Corps Veteran)

 

 

To read how others are others have found relief from post-traumatic stress symptoms through community concerts and events, click here.

Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) is a national 501(C)(3) nonprofit that supports all branches of currently serving military, including the Guard and Reserves, Veterans of all eras, their families, including immediate family of those killed in action, and caregivers of VetTixers. Vet Tix provides free event tickets with a nominal delivery fee to attend sporting events, concerts, performing arts and family activities. Attending these types of community events improves morale and strengthens family bonds while encouraging service members and Veterans to stay engaged with local communities.

Since 2008, Vet Tix has provided more than 4.3 million free event tickets to over 780,000 verified VetTixers. The nonprofit organization spends over 95 percent back to its programs, giving back to those who have given so much. Visit VetTix.org to learn more, and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Author

Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.

Comments

  1. Steve Weintraub    

    Great blog post Tim, thanks for sharing.
    Vet Tix has helped so many veterans and service members overcome their anxiety and PTS challenges by providing them, their family and friends free event tickets to thousands of concerts, sporting and family events and performing arts events.

    1. Wendy williams    

      U S Army Veteran
      Wendy Williams
      Family Owner Business
      CW’s Heal Thyself Herbs, etc.
      (contact information redacted)

  2. Sandra Lee Smith    

    Such concerts are helpful and they don’t need to be “big names” ; here in my home city, which is host to a VA center and also hosts numerous community concerts and events, mostly through local talent, we have great attendance at such events. Every month, year round, there are at least 2 concerts in our local library that are free; the local colleges (we have 3 of them) host various concerts, plays, etc; and in the summers we have several concerts a week of various styles at the courthouse square as well as a movie once a week, at a theater just off that square, that are all free as well as numerous other activities; parades, rodeo, art festivals and so on. Being that we have a VA right here; many of the attendees are vets too; and those activities are well enjoyed. If you live in a community where there are musicians/artists and a large vet population, why not see about organizing some similar events in your community?

  3. Larry S. Rosenthal    

    For most of us the thought of going to a public outing can be a positive stressor. Knowing that your in the middle of a group of Veterans or familty of a Veteran is kinda calming. A Veteran is a Veteran, they are always on alert aware of the surroundings and looking out for their buddies.
    The weather can be hot, cold, or raining, but it is always good to be around your “brothers and sisters”.
    I appreciate it when the performer/s acknowledges America or our Veterans.

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