Guitars for Veterans
In 2015 our organization was approached by the Southwest Florida Blue Society to develop a local Guitars for Veterans program aimed at providing Veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress a unique alternative mental health program.
Even though the Guitars for Veterans program started out strictly as a program run by the Southwest Florida Blue Society in 2016 it became a joint venture between American Military Veterans Foundation & Southwest Florida Blue Society with the mission to share the healing power of music by providing free guitar instruction, a new acoustic guitar and a guitar accessory kit in a structured program run by volunteers in the music industry that felt the need to give back. We hope to expand the program to include Vet Centers, Veterans Affairs Healthcare Facilities, and Community-based Medical Centers.
Our guitar lessons are held weekly for a six week period, and provided by our volunteers are individualized and designed to help students learn at their own pace.
In the future, we hope to develop quarterly group sessions to provide Veterans a communal atmosphere to talk and continue to play music with peers who have shared similar experiences. In Guitars for Veterans group sessions, the connection created between individuals who are both warriors and guitar players serves as a catalyst for positive human interaction.
Veterans who regularly attend group sessions build confidence to further pursue creative self-expression and engagement within their communities.
In the future we hope some Guitars for Veterans graduates and group session attendees even go on to perform at local American Military Veterans Foundation & Southwest Florida Blue Society fundraisers and teach guitar lessons in their local community to veterans in the Guitars for Veterans program.
All Guitars for Veterans program lessons and guitars are provided to the Veterans free of charge. Demand for the Guitars for Veterans program continues to rise and though virtually all resources go directly into programming and guitars, we sadly cannot help every qualified applicant because funding is limited.
Together, we can bring more lessons and guitars to our Veterans with donations of money, guitars and related gear. By donating $225 you can send one Veteran through the Guitars for Veterans program and enable us to continue sharing the healing power of music with deserving heroes locally.