A nationwide organization that helps Canada’s veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cope through music therapy is connecting soldiers home from war with a guitar and lessons.
Sixty-six-year-old Wayne Federation joined the army in 1968 and served for over three decades.
“Veterans exist. We have a heart. We have a hard life and we very rarely talk about it, because it hurts.”
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Invisible Wounds – Crisis in the Military
The trauma he experienced and the horror he witnessed followed him beyond the battlefield.
“I became a workaholic and alcoholic and all sorts of ‘ics’ you can find,” Federation said. “I wanted to hide my fear of coming to the realization of what I witnessed.”
He writes poetry to help heal, but now he has a new outlet for his emotions: he’s started learning how to play a guitar.
He got the donated instrument through the Guitars for Vets program, which launched in 2011.
Federation said it has already changed his life.
“It increased my self-worth and made me a better person.”
It worked so well for Federation, he’s off his prescription drugs for his PTSD.
“I can zero-in on perfection of that piece of music and not worry about the imperfections I presented in life.”
Long and McQuade locations across the country are accepting gently used guitars. Guitars for Vets have also kickstarted a fundraising effort to generate money to purchase brand new guitars. Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.