Not every news story’s fantastic, but this one is.
The men and women who serve in our armed forces aren’t just pieces of a machine for killing people and breaking things.
They’re human beings, with hearts and minds — emotional, creative creatures who chose to put their lives at risk for our safety.
And they’ve got things to say — about life, love, and their experiences sacrificing for their country.
Thanks to a terrific new partnership, now they can — in an unprecedented way.
A bit of backstory:
Nonprofit CreatiVets was launched in 2013 to offer American heroes healing relief:
Our purpose is to use various forms of art, including songwriting, visual arts, music, and creative writing, to help disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma (i.e., post-traumatic stress, or PTS) by fostering self-expression in a way that allows them to transform their stories of trauma and struggle into an art form that can inspire and motivate continued healing. Through compassion, we are helping veterans live again.
“Veterans suffering from PTS,” the group’s website explains, “re-experience traumatic events years and even decades later, reliving the helplessness, fear, and horror associated with their traumatic event. Such strong, negative reactions often lead to anxiety, sadness, anger, depression, guilt, shame, irritability, behavior changes, and thoughts of suicide. These feelings can cause the individual to avoid environments that trigger reminders of the trauma, resulting in isolation and withdrawal from society and often leading to marital problems, difficulty in parenting, job instability, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and even suicide.”
Art Therapy has long been recognized as a way of working through trauma; what could be better than knowing one’s art can reach the world?
As relayed by Nashville Lifestyles, “Big Machine…has partnered with local nonprofit CreatiVets to release a selection of songs written, inspired by, and for veterans.”
The new team-up “will allow the organization to share the stories of veterans across all backgrounds, and through the help of songwriters, producers, and donations will turn those compelling stories into songs.”
The first song from Big Machine and CreatiVets will be released Saturday, February 20th.
“Until It Feels Like Home” — by artist Blackjack Billy — was inspired by Marine Jesse Schertz, who lost his leg below the knee due to a 2004 suicide bombing.
The release date of Jesse’s song was not chosen at random. In fact, all CreatiVets songs will be released on the same day over the next several months. Research has shown that 20 suicides in the veteran space occur each day, and the date is meant to honor those who have lost their lives.
CV Executive Director Richard Casper believes a grand difference is being made:
“Our music has been proven to help heal them, or at least make them feel connected to other veterans. These songwriters in town could write a love song a thousand different ways, so they’re able to tell a story from a veteran’s point of view that they thought they had no words for.”
Enjoy “Until It Feels Like Home” — written by by Jesse Schertz, Richard Casper, Rob Blackledge, Noll Billings, and Jeff Coplan — below.
And support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines on major streaming platforms such as iHeart Radio, SoundCloud, and Tidal.
Learn more about CreatiVets here.
To all those who have and will put their lives at risk: Thank you for your service.
Your stories are our stories.
And now — more than ever — we are listening.
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