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.

Alan Harrison
E6 Boatswains Mate 1st Class
United States Navy
1973-1994

MORE THAN HALF OF THE 2.6 MILLION VETERANS FROM THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS STRUGGLE WITH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CHALLENGES, IN FACT, 22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE EVERY DAY.
Founding Fathers

Our Story

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 HAS FULFILLED OVER 20,000 LESSONS AND DISTRIBUTED OVER 2,000 GUITARS FREE TO MILITARY VETERANS.

Our Program

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.




Our Ambassadors

Tommy Emmanuel
"I am so honored to be involved with G4V... the guitar is a friend to us always - ready whenever we are, never impatient, never asking too much. Pick one up and the relationship will be there forever. Together, we can help so many vets get the joy back in their lives through the power of music."
Dick Wagner
"As a guitarist, by profession, I can relate to the calming effect a guitar can bring to a troubled mind. I jumped at the opportunity to come on board with Guitars For Vets."
Earl Slick
"Having had a number of close friends return from combat with both physical and emotional scars, I have witnessed the impact from war firsthand and if I can put a smile on their faces even for a minute, it’s all more than worth it. Music is magic."
Ron Keel
"I am proud to be working with G4V. Anything we can do to show our appreciation to these warriors, we have to do it - without their sacrifice, we'd all be singing a different tune. I've worked with a number of Veteran's charities, so when I heard about G4V, I immediately reached out - thanks for letting me participate. Our Veterans rock!"
Jim McCarty
“Regardless of what one thinks of the politics of these wars, these men and women often come back scarred physically and emotionally. I’m more than happy to represent and be part of an organization that tries to help these people rebuild their lives.”
Billy Hallquist
“My work with guitars for vets has been the most rewarding part of my 50 year music career.”
- Billy Hallquist
Billy Hallquist Youtube
WE CURRENTLY OPERATE OVER 50 CHAPTERS IN MORE THAN 25 STATES WITH THE HELP OF HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS.

Local Chapters

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.

Arizona

Phoenix, AZ
ANTHONY TADDEI
g4vphoenix@yahoo.com


CALIFORNIA

La Jolla, CA
PETER BALLANTYNE
pballantyne@caldiegopva.org

Livermore, CA
MICHAEL PAUL
g4vlivermore@comcast.net

Loma Linda, CA
JAMES ROBLEDO
g4vlomalindaca@yahoo.com

Long Beach, CA
LUZ MACHADO
luz.machado@va.gov

Martinez, CA
MIKE KELLY
g4vmartinez@gmail.com

Oceanside, CA
PETER MARTIN
pmartin@interfaithservices.org

Sacramento, CA
LAUREN SALINERO
g4vsacramento@gmail.com

San Diego VVSD, CA
SAN DIEGO G4V
NCC@guitarsforvets.org

San Francisco, CA
DAVID PEDERSEN
david.g4vsf@gmail.com

Santa Rosa, CA
CHRISTIANE SWARTZ
G4Vsantarosa@gmail.com


Washington DC

JOSEPH SIMONS
guitarsforvets.dc@gmail.com


FLORIDA

Miami, FL
ELIZABETH TORRES
elizabeth.torres2@va.gov

Pensacola, FL
DAVID DOYLE
g4vpensacola@gmail.com

GEORGIA

Atlanta, GA
CLIFF MEINHARDT
g4vatlanta@gmail.com


IDAHO

Boise, ID
STEVEN WALKER
steven.walker3@va.gov


ILLINOIS

Chicago, IL
BERNIE KAMPF
bernie@guitarsforvets.org

Chicago, IL
(Jesse Brown VA Medical Center)
JOE GOODKIN
joegoodkin@gmail.com

Rockford, IL
TRISH ROONEY
g4vrockfordil@gmail.com


INDIANA

Marion, IN
JEFFREY MATTHEWS
g4vmarionin2@gmail.com


IOWA

Des Moines, IA
MATTHEW LLOYD
g4vdesmoines@gmail.com


Maine

Springvale, ME
KELLY ROY
G4VSouthernME@outlook.com


MASSACHUSETTS

Brockton, MA
GENE STEIN
gfvbrockton@hotmail.com


MARYLAND

Perry Point, MD
ROBERT HEVNER
g4vperrypointmd@yahoo.com

MICHIGAN

Grand Rapids, MI
DAVE KIRVAN
g4vgrandrapidsmichigan@aol.com

Saginaw, MI
FRANK CHURCH
Frank.Church@va.gov


MINNESOTA

Minneapolis, MN
THOMAS YETZER
OR
BENARD BEAMON
Thomas.Yetzer@va.gov

New Brighton, MN
JOSH ARMAGOST
joshua.armagost@va.gov


NEW JERSEY

Lakewood, NJ
BILL BROWN
G4Vnewjersey@gmail.com


NEW YORK

Long Island, NY
BILL NICKEY
linyguitars4vets@gmail.com

Montrose, NY
KRISTEN STEWART
g4vmontrose@gmail.com

New York, NY (Harlem)
MICKEY STRASSER
g4vnyc.harlem@gmail.com

Rochester, NY
SHAWN O’BRIEN
G4Vrochester@yahoo.com


NORTH CAROLINA

Asheville, NC
DAVID LEGLER
g4vasheville@gmail.com

Charlotte/Rock Hill, NC
GARY WALBRUN
G4VCarolina@comporium.net

OHIO

Cincinnati, OH
RICHARD HUTCHINSON
g4vcincinnati@hotmail.com

Cleveland, OH
MICHAEL GREGA
G4VCleveland@gmail.com


PENNSYLVANIA

Coatesville, PA
BILL HAGAR
g4vcoatesville@gmail.com


SOUTH CAROLINA

North Charleston, SC
GARY HARVEY
g4vcharlestonsc@gmail.com

Charleston, SC
GARY HARVEY
g4vcharlestonsc@gmail.com


TENNESSEE

Memphis, TN
DEB MASONIS
g4vmemphis@gmail.com

Nashville, TN
NOAH JIMENEZ
g4vnashville@gmail.com


TEXAS

Bonham, TX
VALERIE CASON-BOND
Valerie.Cason-Bond@va.gov

El Paso, TX
KENNETH SKAGGS
kenneth.skaggs@va.gov

Dallas,TX
GEORGE JORDAN
offshorehighway@msn.com


VIRGINIA

Hampton, VA
STEPHEN FROEBER
g4v.hampton@gmail.com

Salem, VA
DAVID BOWEN
g4vetssalemVA@gmail.com

Richmond, VA
PEG ANDRAE
g4v_virginia@comcast.net


WEST VIRGINIA

Huntington, WV
MELISSA STILWELL
melissa.stilwell@va.gov

Clarksburg, WV
BILLY TRIVETT
g4vclarksburg@hotmail.com


WISCONSIN

Green Bay, WI
ERIN MENDOZA
G4Vgreenbay@gmail.com

Madison, WI
JULIE MURRAY
g4vmadisonchapter@gmail.com

Milwaukee(UWM), WI
BEVERLY BELFER
brb3@uwm.edu

Milwaukee, WI
TOM KNUTH
littletommygk@aol.com

News & Events
TODAY, OVER 400,000 U.S. VETERANS SUFFER FROM PTSD.

Our Sponsors

Guitars for Vets - Facebook Guitars for Vets - Youtube Guitars for Vets - Twitter

How you can help

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!

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