Thousands of our war Veterans are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, more soldiers have committed suicide since the Vietnam War than have died in actual battle. But many are finding hope in an unlikely place: behind the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar. The healing power of music helps soldiers cope. That’s why we provide veterans with guitars and a forum to learn how to play. But we can't do it without your help. Please read on to learn more out about the program and how you can help those who served rediscover their joy through the power of music.
E6 Boatswains Mate 1st Class
United States Navy
In 2007, Patrick Nettesheim, a Milwaukee guitar instructor was introduced to Vietnam-era Marine, Dan Van Buskirk. For years Dan wanted to learn to play guitar but felt the lasting effects of combat, in the form of post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), would make it difficult for him to succeed. After only a few months of working with Patrick, Dan discovered that the strong spirit that helped him throughout his time in Vietnam was all he needed to play music. Together, the men realized that guitar lessons were both opportunities for self-expression and positive human interaction. Dan and Patrick shared what they learned with Veterans at The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and Guitars for Vets was born.
Guitars for Vets is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2007. We currently operate more than 50 chapters in 25 states with the assistance of over 200 volunteers nationwide. Over the past seven years, our organization has refined a guitar instruction program aimed at providing Veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress a unique supportive program. G4V pursues its 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, primarily through the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and community-based medical centers.
The weekly guitar lessons provided by our volunteers are individualized and designed to help students learn at their own pace. Monthly group sessions are organized at each chapter to provide Veterans a communal atmosphere to talk and continue to play music with peers who have shared similar experiences. In G4V 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. Some G4V graduates and group session attendees even go on to perform at local fundraisers and teach guitar lessons in their local G4V chapter.
To date, G4V has administered over 20,000 guitar lessons and distributed over 2,000 guitars to Veterans. Over the years, we have observed the many ways that our program is enhancing the lives of warriors suffering with mental, physical and emotional distress. We are very excited to now have clinical trial data supporting our belief in the power of our program. Outcomes from our recently completed pilot study showed remarkable improvements in PTSD symptoms. A copy of the study results can be viewed here: Guitars for Vets: Evaluating psychological outcome of a novel music therapy.
If you are interested in starting a new chapter in your area, please download our informational packet here, and get all the info you need to get started today.
La Jolla, CA
Loma Linda, CA
Long Beach, CA
Palm Desert, CA
San Diego VVSD, CA
SAN DIEGO G4V
San Francisco, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
(Jesse Brown VA Medical Center)
Des Moines, IA
Perry Point, MD
Grand Rapids, MI
New Brighton, MN
Long Island, NY
New York, NY (Harlem)
Charlotte/Rock Hill, NC
North Charleston, SC
El Paso, TX
Green Bay, WI
All G4V lessons and guitars are provided to the Veterans free of charge. Demand for the G4V 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 Vets with donations of money, guitars and related gear. By donating $200 you can send one Veteran through the G4V program and enable us to continue sharing the healing power of music with deserving heroes across the country. You can donate through our PayPal site.
If you prefer, you may send a check payable to: Guitars for Vets, PO Box 617 Milwaukee, WI, 53201 or contact us at 1-855-G4V-HERO/ 1-855-448-4376 for more information. Guitars for Vets is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your gifts are tax deductible.
On behalf of all of us at Guitars for Vets we thank you for making such a positive difference in the lives of many!
Copyright © 2015 Guitars For Vets, Inc. | PO Box 617 Milwaukee, WI 53201 | Tel: 1-855-G4V-HERO (4376)