Veterans can have a difficult time adjusting after they get come home from war. Many are unable to fully heal through traditional coping mechanisms and therapy programs. This is where CreatiVets comes in, and why we like to support this organization which is dedicated to making sure that every veteran who goes through their program can live their best life.
Every month, CreatiVets provides housing, transportation, food, and every other trip expense for two veterans to have the chance to come to Nashville to write with professional songwriters on Music Row. Guitars 4 Gifts provides each veteran with a guitar that they can then use to continue writing songs whenever they want.
Richard Casper, a veteran, founded this program after learning how art and music helped him tell his story.
“When I discovered that art and music had helped save my life I knew that it could do it for other combat veterans. I decided to make programs based off how I felt when I was severely depressed and anxious and what I would have needed to be able to go through a program. Thats why CreatiVets pays for the veterans flights, food, tuition, entertainment, Hotels, dorm rooms, etc... to Nashville and the best art schools in the country. I wanted to make sure veterans wouldn't say no to an opportunity to heal themselves through the arts.”
One of the last veterans they had in town was a Vietnam combat veteran. He had been through some very traumatic experiences and didn't know how to talk about them. At the end of a four hour writing session he said he felt like a 30 year old weight was lifted off of him.
They were able to do the cowrite with this veteran at the Grand Ole Opry, and are the first songwriters that have written a song in the back rooms of the Opry (that’s what the Opry staff said). Not only did the veteran love it, but so did the songwriters. Even the most accomplished songwriters jumped at the chance to write at the Opry while helping a veteran heal.
Each veteran is able to go home from this program with a professionally written song, as well as a guitar and some guitar accessories to help them continue to heal though music.
Guitars 4 Gifts provides a Recording King Guitar, Fishman Tuner, Kyser Capo, and D’Addario strings for each veteran to keep.