Guitars help veterans living with effects of PTSD


IS HELPING THOUSANDS OF VETERANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.>>♪ PATRICK: MUSIC IS A POWERFUL INSTRUMENT. IT IS NOT JUST GUITARS THAT BRING US HERE. IT IS WHAT THOSE GUITARS CAN DO.>>THE FIRST TWO GUITARS WE GIVE AWAY OUR RIGHT OVER THERE. PATRICK: WE FIRST MET THESE TWO IN 20 — AND 2008 IN THIS VERY SPOT. DAN AND HIS GUITAR TEACHER, THEIR LESSONS TAPPED INTO SOMETHING. A VIETNAM VETERAN FOUND THE GUITAR HELPED WITH PTSD.>>I FEEL SO AT PEACE WITH IT THAT I CAN BE ON IT FOR THREE OR FOUR HOURS AND NOT EVEN NOTICE IT. PATRICK: THE COLLABORATION CONTINUED BEYOND THE FRETBOARD. AT THE TIME, THEY HAD JUST STARTED GUITARS FOR VETS. A NON-PROFIT THAT GIVES A FREE GUITAR AND FREE LESSONS TO VETERANS.>>WE’RE HELPING WITH THE DEPRESSION AND THE SADNESS, AND WE’RE REPLACING IT WITH JOY AND HARMONY. PATRICK: WHAT STARTED WITH TWO GUITARS, 10 YEARS AGO, HAS NOW REACHED THOUSANDS OF VETERANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.>>WE HAVE GIVEN AWAY MORE THAN 3,000 GUITARS, OVER 30,000 LESSONS. WE HAVE OVER 70 CHAPTERS. PATRICK: THE ZABLOCKI CHAPTER IN MILWAUKEE IS THE OLDEST. >>IT WAS THE FIRST. IT’S WHERE IT ALL STARTED AT. PATRICK: TOM KNUTH HAS BEEN THERE SINCE THE BEGINNING. FIRST, AS A GUITAR TEACHER. NOW –>>IT’S NOT STRICTLY ALL ABOUT THE GUITAR. PATRICK: THE CHAPTER COORDINATOR.>>SOME PEOPLE COME INTO THAT CLASS JUST TO TALK AND BE WITH OTHER VETS. PATRICK: AN ARMY VETERAN HIMSELF.>>EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, YOU’LL BE PLAYING AND SHOWING SOMEBODY SOMETHING. THEY’LL TRY IT AND THEY HEAR THEMSELVES MAKING MUSIC AND THAT LIGHT GOES ON. THEY SAY “OH, I CAN DO THIS,” AND THEN THEY DO. PUTTING THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC IN SOMEBODY’S HANDS. GIVING THEM THE FISH, THEN TEACHING THEM HOW TO FISH. HOW TO SELF SOOTHE. PATRICK: ONE NOTE, ONE GUITAR, ONE LESSON AT A TIME. EACH VETERAN GETS A GUITAR, ACCESSORIES, 10 PRIVATE LESSONS, AND THEN GROUP LESSONS FOR AS LONG AS THEY WANT, WHICH ARE HANDLED BY VOLUNTEERS. SOME OF THE GUITARS ARE DONATED. THE MAJORITY ARE PAID FOR BY THE ORGANIZATION. JOYCE: IT IS SO EXCITING TO SEE HOW IT HAS GROWN. HE SAID 70’S CHAPTERS. PATRICK: THEY’RE IN ABOUT 40 STATES RIGHT NOW WITH A GOAL TO BE IN EVERY STATE IN 2019.

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