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On Friday, April 23, from 5:30 to 9:30 PM, Guitars For Vets (G4V) will be hosting an event at The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee to raise awareness and funds for our national expansion. I have attached a poster that will provide you with all of the vitals. Additionally, you will find information about MOTOR, the fantastic restaurant located on the premises at this address: http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/HD_Museum/eat_at_museum.jsp?locale=en_US
As you may know, I co-founded G4V with Dan Van Buskirk, a Viet Nam era Veteran, with the intention of bringing relief and healing to Vets suffering from PTSD, physical injuries and other traumas. It was almost two years ago to the day when we starting teaching Vets at Zablocki VAMC in Milwaukee how to play guitar. Since then, we have given away nearly 600 guitars and have taught over 3,600 private guitar lessons to Vets in Wisconsin, St. Louis and Texas (This has all been done by volunteers)! We recently opened chapters in Michigan, Florida and Iraq and there are requests for the G4V program from nearly fifty VAMC's and Community Vet Centers throughout the United States.
I believe that the profound impact of the G4V program can be attributed to three simple traits; Listen with sincere interest, show gratitude and do not judge. It is only after these aspects of the golden rule are applied that learning can begin. As camaraderie develops, the education process moves forward. We all have an innate desire to belong to a community that supports and gives us purpose. The music skills acquired from the six private and subsequent group lessons give the Veterans a vehicle through which to share pent-up feelings and memories that are difficult to speak of. This pays itself forward as the students then become instructors to others. When people connect on this level, community is fostered.
In many ways we are all wounded warriors. What better way to help heal ourselves and maybe even the world, than to mend the spirits of those who have given so much in our name. I hope to see you at ROCK the RUMBLE where we can not only acknowledge the sacrifices of our Troops and Veterans, we can celebrate the wonderful men and women that they are!