Veterans Story Project Panel on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, The Healing Power of Song

The Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project (VHP) will observe PTSD Awareness Month with a panel discussion on Wednesday, June 23., as part of a virtual program entitled “Post-Traumatic Stress and Music: The Healing Power of Song”.

Discussion will begin at 8 p.m. ET through the Veterans History Project Facebook page where panelists and a moderator will be available to answer questions and provide comments in the comments section.

Every veteran has stories to tell, but those stories don’t end when they leave the military, nor do they leave all of their injuries and trauma behind. A 2017 study found that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS) affects nearly 13% of U.S. veterans compared to 7-8% of the total US population according to the Veterans Administration. Confronting and managing these life-changing symptoms is as much a part of veterans’ history as anything they experience while deployed or in service. One way for some veterans to get by is to harness the healing power of music. Whether it’s writing it down, playing it or playing it, music can be a useful tool for veterans learning to cope with “invisible” injuries.

Although music therapy has been in the toolbox for improving mood and behavior since the start of the 19e century, the practice officially began after WWI and WWII, when musicians visited veterans hospitals to perform for veterans affected by the physical and emotional trauma of wars, according to American Music Therapy Association. Now it’s widely used – and federally funded – to treat veterans with PTSD.

“We need to reduce the stigma (with PTS) and create more models of therapeutic service delivery that are culturally acceptable,” said Rob Jackson, co-founder and executive director of Rhythms, rhymes and life, and the moderator of the panel.

The conversation will explore some of these models, including the efforts of musicians and music organizations to help veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and share stories about how veterans have used music to cope with conditions. serious. The panel will be presented by Gary Sinise, founding member of Lt. Dan Band, who says music can “turn slumped shoulders into uplifted spirits” and that playing rock and roll for veterans is a way to honor their service.

Program panelists include:

  • Bob regan – An American country music songwriter and founder of Operation song, a Nashville-based nonprofit program that pairs veterans, active duty military personnel and their families with professional songwriters to help them tell their stories through song.
  • Patrick Nettesheim – A Milwaukee-based guitar teacher, composer, performer and co-founder of Guitars for veterinarians, a non-profit organization that provides sick and injured veterans with free guitar and music lessons.
  • George “Doc” Todd – An Atlanta-based combat medic who served as a member of the Fleet Marine Force in Afghanistan. Back home, “Doc” created a hip-hop album titled “Combat medicine” aimed at empowering veterans and helping improve the mental health of military personnel.

The Veterans History Project has been running PTS awareness events since 2014. You can see more panel discussions at and Veterans Service stories at

Congress established the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible first-hand memories of American veterans from World War I to the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations can hear first-hand veterans and better understand the realities. of war. For more information visit or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news. Follow VHP on Facebook @vetshistoryproject.

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