Operation Song was founded in 2012. Nashville songwriter Bob Regan had the inspiration for the program in the 2000’s while performing on Armed Forces Entertainment Tours at military bases around the world. On those tours, Bob was made aware of the large number of service-related injuries, issues, and illnesses related to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), PTSD, injuries and illnesses, greatly increased risk of suicide. It was apparent that servicemen and women who had deployed, many for multiple times, were having challenging transitions back to “normal” life. The idea was that putting a service member or a veteran in the room with a songwriter could be therapeutic, that transforming their story into a song might help them process seemingly random and chaotic events and emotions of war and give them some order, perspective, and validation.
The program started with weekly sessions at the VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN under the supervision of a music therapist. Groups of as many as 8 veterans would tell stories about their military service and professional songwriters would transform them into song. The format gradually evolved from writing group songs to focusing on the individual veteran or service member, their stories and unresolved issues.
Operation Song soon began sponsoring weekend retreats around the Southeast in Ft. Benning, GA, Chattanooga, TN, Little Rock, AR, and as far away as New York, NY to Pensacola, FL. To date, Operation Song has written over 600 songs with veterans of WWII to those currently serving.
There has never been, nor will there ever be, a charge to any veteran or family member for our services. It is our honor to serve those who have served.
One challenge faced by Operation Song is that many of the younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (OIF and OEF in military parlance) are less inclined to take part in programs because they feel isolated and don't want to reach out and get help. In fact, many don't realize that they even need help until they encounter serious issues with their jobs, their marriages and families. We are reaching out through any and all means; veteran organizations, military spouses' groups, therapists, military chaplains as well as personal referrals from those who have been through the program. Once we get a younger and older veteran together in groups, an interesting dynamic evolves. Many of the Vietnam vets did not realize they had PTSD (it was not an official diagnosis until the 80's) until they started hearing about it after the onset of the Iraq war.
Operation Song Link: http://www.operationsongcolorado.org/
Welcome Home Montrose Link: https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/NTExMzI=