Lexington veterans use frets and chords to heal in the hands of music


LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Lexington veterans get together every month to heal in the hands of music. The local Guitars 4 Vets group joins together to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional distress, and other traumatic experiences.

“The things you experience overseas can be hard to express in words,” retired infantryman Michael McCuddy said.

Music therapy is now a way for McCuddy and other veterans to heal from their experiences, and it gives veterans dealing with anxiety or traumas comfort in the songs they love.

McCuddy served one tour in Iraq from 2001 to 2005. McCuddy said the brotherhood he finds at Guitars 4 Vets is often therapeutic.

“Helping other combat vets was a real passion of mine,” said McCuddy.

Learning frets and chords in a small room may not seem like much, but to the retired veterans, this moment means the world.

Retired veteran, Dustin Vaughn, spent five years in the army. He deployed twice during the Iraq War Troop Surge.

“I am from Indiana, and this allow me to meet other combat veterans around here,” said Dustin Vaughn. “It’s been a good thing for me cause before that I did not know anybody.”

Retired Sergeant First Class Anthony Cook instructs the program. He deployed three times while serving, spending time with the vets and teaching chords is how he serves now.

“You get positive human interaction, you can express yourself, you are around people who experience the things you have been through that kind of understand,” said Cook.

If you or someone you know would like to join or donate to the chapter, contact Anthony Cook at ky.lexington@guitarsforvets.org.

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