Celebrating our Veterans With Music - Down Range Music Festival

By Steven Masone | May 14, 2018 | 

Having worked in the non-profit sector for Veterans Affairs since I came home as a Vietnam Era Veteran, I can say were uneducated to the realities of PTSD. 

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some develop after experiencing or witnessing life-threatening events, like combat, natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. My PTSD symptoms did not manifest for almost fifteen years.

I was lucky enough to get in a special training program as a facilitator after my treatment at the Menlo Park VA which is the National Center for PTSD. Working as a volunteer facilitator for Vets suffering PTSD, I began using Drama/Music Therapy to enhance what I learned from the VA. So I can attest to the therapeutic help music therapy brings to our young and old Vets that need out-of-the-box treatment.

An exciting new program at the national level has a chapter here in the Sacramento area that is all about out of the box help for our veterans.

GUITARS FOR VETS is a cutting-edge program and charity that are making a real difference in putting hope and joy back into many lives.  In this program, the participants gather each week for a few hours of guitar lessons.

The program, opened to qualified vets, gives the participants free lessons and guitars. Once a veteran is referred to the free program, he or she is given a loaner acoustic guitar to use in the sessions that they can take home to use for practice. Later they can own them for free after completion.

Down Range Music Festival, a one-day event benefiting the Sacramento Chapter of Guitars For Vets is debuting on May 19, 2018, at The Park at The Murieta Inn and Spa. The all-day event, produced by Blue Gaucho Project, will be a multi-genre event and feature a number of successful performers. 

This is such a great program I encourage everyone to help make this event a success and if you know any Vets who are struggling, the VA has an online PTSD Coach for tools to help with stress management. 

Remember...more Veterans have committed suicide since Vietnam than died in that war. 

Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net* to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.

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