Guitars for Vets is a non-profit organization that provides free guitars and lessons to veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Les Paul Foundation is an ongoing supporter of Guitars for Vets. Les Paul served in the Army during World War II and made a point of visiting veterans hospitals to play for the patients.
Tommy Emmanuel is a guitar virtuoso best known for his solo career. He frequently joined Les on stage at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club.
“Tommy is a living legend in the music industry,” says Guitars for Vets Founder, Patrick Nettesheim. “We are honored to have him on our team as his passion for humanitarian causes is known by many. He will carry our message well and encourage others to check out Guitars for Vets.”
“I am so honored to be involved with Guitars for Vets,” says Tommy Emmanuel. “Having music to help you heal and focus on something beautiful and challenging is an important part of the process of turning your life around after the trauma of war. The guitar is a friend to us always — ready when we are, never impatient, never asking too much. Pick one up and the relationship will be there forever. Together, we can help so many vets get the joy back in their lives through the power of music.”
Guitars for Vets was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2007 and currently operates over 40 chapters in more than 20 states with the assistance of hundreds volunteers nationwide. Over the past six years, the organization has refined a guitar instruction program aimed at providing Veterans struggling with PTSD and other emotional distress into a unique therapeutic alternative.
Guitars for Vets pursues its mission 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 Veterans Administration (VA) facilities and community-based Vet centers. Veterans receive weekly private guitar lessons designed to accommodate each student’s physical and/or emotional challenges. To date,Guitars for Vets has completed over 20,000 guitar lessons and distributed over 2,000 guitars to Veterans.