Guitars For Veterans (G4V)
Guitars for Vets, or G4V, is a non-profit organization designed to help veterans dealing with physical injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other issues.
“800,000 U.S. Veterans struggle with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress. We believe guitars can help the healing process.”
Using their instruction program, G4V offers guitar lessons as music therapy, an evidence-based treatment that helps veterans heal through music. Music therapy has also proven to improve veterans’ communication, interpersonal skills, and physical coordination.
Moreover, Guitars 4 Vets uses the four guiding principles of Patience, Acceptance, Gratitude, and Empathy (PAGE), which are the core of the music treatment philosophy.
“Music helps decrease anxiety, increase self-esteem, and reduce episodes of panic attacks, nightmares and flashbacks.”
Guitars for Veterans Music Program
Initially, the program starts with a 10-week course of instruction, wherein veterans receive personalized lessons. This portion of the program moves at the veteran’s pace and teaches music that appeals to the student.
Once the instruction is complete, program graduates receive a free acoustic guitar with an accessory kit.
Finally, in the next phase of treatment, veterans will continue learning and practicing their new skills. Program graduates then participate in monthly sessions with one of their local chapters. There are currently over 110 chapters around the country.
G4V – How to Start
Enrollment into the G4V program requires a referral from a case manager or social worker to a local VA office that supports the G4V program. G4V does not control admissions into its program.
To find a local chapter, G4V offers a locator tool on their website.
Guitars 4 Vets
Since its founding in 2007, Guitars 4 Vets has awarded over 4,000 guitars to veteran graduates.
In order to accomplish this amazing feat, G4V connects with talented artists around the country who create unique works of art out of donated guitars. They call this Operation Art Strings. The procedes from Operation Art Strings purchase the guitars and equipment awarded to program graduates.
If you or anyone you know is interested in donating a guitar to Operation Art Strings, check out the G4V Equipment Donation page.
Are you an artist? If you are interested in donating your time and talent to creating a one-of-a-kind work of art, fill out an G4V Artist Application. Your contribution directly impacts our nation’s veteran community.
(Image courtesy of LightField Studios via Shutterstock)
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About the author
Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.