military veterans

Music Therapy Helps Veterans Quiet Minds and Find Peace

Once a week, veterans gather at the Fort Worth Vet Center for music therapy

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Every Wednesday, the guitars come out at the Fort Worth Vet Center, and the emotions follow.

"It's easier to talk to each other about what's going on and vent to each other and get stuff off your chest," Army veteran Josh Ashby said. "Because he knows. He was there."

Ashby and Josh Pope served in Afghanistan together.

"Everybody has best friends," Pope said. "It just happens to be my best friend, we went to war together."

The Army veterans saw things together that brought them to music therapy together.

"It helps us to not just focus our minds, but our emotions and everything," Fort Worth Vet Center Readjustment Counselor Van Hall said. "Everybody uses music, just about. When you go through a break-up, crank up some can help you either to process emotions or to calm down."

"Coming here and talking to my friends is way better therapy than any psychiatrist," Pope said, adding he hasn't slept in months. "I'll probably sleep like a baby tonight!"

"It's just something when you're playing, and especially when you're playing with somebody else and you're both in sync; you're just locked together," Ashby said. "It's like all this disappears."

The veterans spend the session jamming, improvising their own music.

"I like darker music. Not really darker, but deeper thinking music," Pope said. "The less happy notes," Ashby added with a smile. "Yeah," Pope said. "I don't really like happy notes."

The Fort Worth Vet Center in Westworth Village offers music therapy and other counseling.

If you or anyone you know is a veteran in crisis, the Veterans Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255, or text 838255.

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