Guitars for Vets group helps PTSD and prevent suicide

Guitars for Vets

Guitars for Vets is aiming to take down PTSD and help prevent suicide through music. The basis of the free program is students receive 10 one-on-one lessons, and when they graduate they are given a new guitar.

The program began 12 years ago and has blossomed into an outlet for thousands of veterans.

Marine veteran Marshall Boyle suffers from PTSD and told Fox 32 Chicago that music is something that has helped him greatly.

“If you’re struggling with mental health, PTSD, suicide, self-medicating when you have that light when you have hope and music you can go anywhere.”

Bernie Kampf is an instructor for the program and has seen how much music can change someone’s outlook on life.

“I had one student after 10 weeks he could only play 10 chords, and we sat right here, he was in his wheelchair, had a lot of problems, but we sat here just strumming two chords for a half an hour and we both had tears in our eyes,” said Kampf. “I’m getting choked up now thinking about it, but that’s how you measure success.”

The Guitars for Vets program is entirely funded by corporate and private donations and started in 2007.