Helping Veterans With PTSD – Guitars For Vets

Recently, Gina and I attended Tommy Emmanuel’s concert at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Tommy is such a great entertainer and amazing guitarist, see him if you get the opportunity.

During a break he was talking to us about helping veterans with PTSD and how he was involved with an organization called Guitar For Vets.

Tommy, by the way, is Australian so I was very impressed with his outreach for our Veterans. As soon as I got home I  googled Guitars For Vets and was blown away at number of sponsors and musicians involved.

I was inspired and could not wait to share this amazing organization that is taking the power of music to heal those suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) with my friends.

Why Guitars For Vets?

PTSD is a well documented. We know that thousands of our war Veterans are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The sad fact is more soldiers have committed suicide since the Vietnam War than have died in actual battle. Fortunately many are finding hope in a very unlikely place, behind the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar.

Music is well-known to be a healing power. Without music, I am not sure where I would be today. It has gotten me through many tough times. So the healing power of music to help soldiers cope makes so much sense.

In 2007 Guitar For Vets was formed to provide qualified veterans with guitars and a forum to learn how to play.

The idea stemmed from Patrick Nettesheim, a Milwaukee guitar instructor after being introduced to Vietnam-era Marine, Dan Van Buskirk. Dan suffers from PTDS and wanted to learn to play guitar but felt his condition would prevent him from succeeding.

Working with Patrick for a few months, Dan discovered his inner strength that helped him endure Vietnam was all he needed to play music. Both immediately saw the opportunity for self-expression and positive human interaction to help others. They decided to share their vision with Veterans at The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and Guitar For Vets became a reality.

To-date Guitars For Vets has fulfilled over 25,000 lessons and distributed over 2,500 guitars for free to Military Veterans.

Meet The Ambassadors

The artists below unselfishly provide support to Guitars For Vets by sharing the word at their shows and/or websites. These fine musicians know the power music to help others in need and especially our honored veterans. Please honor these musicians by taking time to learn about them and support their music. They are most deserving.

Tommy Emmanuel

Dick Wagner

Earl Slick

Ron Keel

Jim McCarty

Billy Hallquist

Billy J Kramer

Joey Molland (Bad Finger)

Willy Porter


Ali Handal

Richard Kiser

Sonny Moorman

Local Chapters

Currently Guitar For Vets are represented by Chapters in 35 states. These special individuals are unselfishly donating their time to organize the lessons and arrange for the guitars.

If you think you might be interested in starting a chapter or becoming a volunteer, contact:

Bernie Kampf, Director of Chapter Operations

Guitar For Vets

P.O. Box 617, Milwaukee, WI 53201

(855) 448-4376


Over 50 companies are sponsoring Guitar For Vets and not all are from the Guitar world. Some names you might recognize include Gibson, Dunlop, D’Addario, G&L, Gretch, Les Paul Foundation, Taylor Guitars, and Yamaha. They are “all in” to support this worthy cause.

Check out the Guitar For Vets website to see the entire list.

Guitars For Vets also has a great assortment of apparel to wear proudly to show your support. To see the full offering click  here.

Many Vets Are Left Out – You Can Help

All G4V lessons and guitars are provided to the Veterans free of charge. You can imagine how many Vets could use the help. Demand exceeds the supply for the G4V program and they are not able to help every qualified applicant as funding is limited. Virtually all the proceeds go directly into programming and guitars.

Guitar For Vets is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization so your gifts are tax-deductible. A $200 contribution will send one Veteran through the G4V program and enable Guitar For Vets to continue sharing the healing power of music with deserving heroes across the country.

Thank You!

Thank you for taking your valuable time to learn about Guitar For Vets. It certainly has made a profound influence on Seaside Funk and opened our eyes to a channel we can get involved in to help these worthy Veterans.

Going forward we hope to influence our fans to donate to our tip jar to help a qualified veteran gain access to this worthy cause.

I welcome your comments, personal experience with Guitar For Vets, or other suggestions to help our veterans in need.






4 Comments on “Helping Veterans With PTSD – Guitars For Vets”

  1. Thank you, I am able to see to this post is reaching a fair amount of readers. I am hopeful they are inspired to contribute.

  2. This is such an amazing way to help veterans with PTSD! And it is so nice to see so many famous guitar players contributing their time and resources to this cause!

    Any idea of there are any planned musical events around this organization? I would love to attend a concert with a mix of professional musician and veterans…up on the stage playing music and telling stories.

    Thank you for bringing this organization to my attention! Love seeing positive stuff like this!

    • Glad you liked it and it is cool. It will be the best $200 spent for a great cause to help a hero. I┬áhave not seen any concerts with this theme. As I┬ámentioned, Tommy Emmanuel, took time to educate the audience on this worthy cause.

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