VFW Joins Guitars 4 Vets in Reaching Veterans with Music

Together, we hope to bring the healing power of music to VFW Posts around the world

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to announce it is teaming up with the nonprofit, Guitars 4 Vets to help expand the healing reach of music to America’s veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other wounds of war. 

Founded in 2007, Guitars 4 Vets is dedicated to providing veterans with physical injuries, PTSD, and emotional stress with a unique therapeutic alternative through guitar instruction, along with a new acoustic guitar and guitar accessory kit during a structured 10-week instruction program, all provided free of charge.

Guitars 4 VeteransCo-founder and Marine Corps veteran Dan Van Buskirk started using guitar lessons as a way to help cope with and heal from the lasting effects of his service during the Vietnam War. Together with Milwaukee guitar instructor Patrick Nettesheim, the pair shared what they learned at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and the Guitars 4 Vets program was born. 

“No matter the time or place served, all veterans return from war irrevocably changed, and the VFW believes it is just as important to treat and heal the invisible wounds as it is the physical wounds,” said VFW National Commander and Air Force veteran, Fritz Mihelcic. “Working with Guitars 4 Vets will allow us to ensure the VFW’s nearly 6,000 Posts continue to be a place where every veteran is welcome to talk about their service and find healing and peace surrounded by their brothers and sisters who know exactly what they’ve gone through.”

“The VFW is providing Guitars for Vets with the most significant expansion opportunity since the founding of our mission in 2007,” said Guitars 4 Vets Co-Founder Patrick Nettesheim. “As a result, many veteran lives will be enriched and possibly even saved. We share the belief with the VFW that through the healing power of music, the effects of PTSD on the mind, body and spirit can be lessened.  What a wonderful way for the wounded to regain their joy!”

To date, Guitars 4 Vets has fulfilled more than 50,000 lessons and distributed more than 5,000 guitars. Pairing the more than 100 Guitars 4 Vets chapters in over 40 states with the VFW’s extensive network of nearly 6,000 VFW Posts across the world will help expand opportunities for veterans to experience music therapy and camaraderie firsthand.

VFW members interested in volunteer opportunities or hosting free guitar lessons at their Post are encouraged to contact Guitars 4 Vets National Program Director Bailey King at bailey@guitarsforvets.org.