Gibson, the iconic American instrument brand, has partnered with Guitars For Vets to bring the power of music to returning U.S. military veterans. Gibson opened the doors of its Custom Shop in Nashville to debut a donation of 48 guitars and 19,000 string sets as well as pledge their continued support to Guitars For Vets. Guitars For Vets provides veterans with guitars and a forum to learn how to play which is in line with the new Gibson Gives mission. Gibson artist Sully Erna of the multi-platinum rock group GODSMACK presented the gift to U.S. veterans Henry Thomas, Pete Nugris, Brandon Branham and Patrick Nettesheim, co-founder of Guitars For Vets.
"We have a problem in this country and it's suicide amongst veterans," explains Nettesheim. "When I started Guitars For Vets, it was 18 suicides per day. It's getting worse, but it's my belief we're making progress and we hear this through testimonials all the time, 'this guitar saved my life.' It's a great fit to be with the Gibson Foundation because they're about supporting and creating musicians. With over 400 volunteers and 110 chapters in 43 states we show up to teach guitar and when vets graduate, they get a brand-new acoustic guitar."
"It's an honor to be a part of this presentation to our veterans here at the iconic Gibson Custom Shop," says Sully Erna of GODSMACK. "Thanks to our veterans and everything they have done for our country."
"Gibson Gives is an opportunity to play it forward and this is what matters," adds James "JC" Curleigh, president and CEO of Gibson. "We are pleased to join Guitars For Vets, when veterans come home, we should have solutions for them and we have solutions through music.
Thousands of U.S. veterans are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, more soldiers have committed suicide since the Vietnam War than have died in actual battle. Many are now finding hope in an unlikely place: behind the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar. The healing power of music helps soldiers cope and Guitars For Vets (501(c)3) provides veterans with guitars and a forum to learn how to play to relieve stress. With over 80,000 guitar lessons and 3,000 guitars gifted so far, Guitars for Vets has refined a guitar instruction program aimed at providing Veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and more a unique supportive program. 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 the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and community-based medical centers. Guitars For Vets' mission is to help those who served our country rediscover their joy through the power of music.
For more information, visit www.guitarsforvets.org.
Gibson Gives is the front end of the Gibson Foundation whose overall mission is to make music matter one guitar at a time.
Left to right in photo above: James "JC" Curleigh (Gibson, president and CEO), Jason Kimmons (Gibson employee), Patrick Nettesheim (Guitars For Vets, co-founder), Peter Nugris (U.S. veteran), Sully Erna (GODSMACK), Henry Thomas (U.S. veteran), Dendy Jarrett (Gibson Foundation, executive director), Brandon Branham (U.S. veteran) and Cesar Gueikian (Gibson, chief merchant officer)