Local man graduates from Guitars for Vets program
After 10 weeks of lessons the Carson Valley chapter of Guitars for Vets (G4V) graduated its first student, Thomas Derum, on July 13.
The local program is instructed by volunteer Tom Martel, who tailors lessons based on the student’s talent, strengths, weaknesses and desires.
G4V is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in Milwaukee, Wis., in 2007. It currently operates more than 60 chapters in 30 states with the assistance of more than 200 volunteers nationwide. It was established in the Valley in January.
The nonprofit’s mission is to share the healing power of music by providing free guitar instruction, a new acoustic guitar and a guitar accessory kit in a structured program run by volunteers, primarily through the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and community-based medical centers. The organization has refined a guitar instruction program aimed at providing support for veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress.
“In my own personal experience, I always feel better after playing music, and it appeared that our students did too,” said chapter coordinator Gary Swift.