The politics of war are complicated. The individual human beings affected by war often get lost in arguments about the budget, geopolitics, and political posturing. Regardless of how you feel about war, one fact remains: it leaves people, families, and lives wounded long after they leave the battlefield.
According to a 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs report, the suicide rate for veterans is 1.5 times greater than adult non-veterans. The report also showed over 6,000 veterans committed suicide each year between 2005 to 2016. These are staggering numbers, and each number was an individual life.
Andy Hoke, who will be one of the speakers at the November Assembly, is a volunteer for a nonprofit called, Guitars for Vets (G4V). Guitars for Vets looks to save lives with the power of music. Founded in 2007 by a music instructor and Vietnam-era Marine, G4V gives guitar lessons to veterans with PTSD, physical injuries, and other mental health struggles. With over 80 chapters around the country, G4V has given over 30,000 guitar lessons and donated over 3,000 guitars.
The November Assembly is the same week we observe Veterans Day. We will have an opportunity to see that amazing work being done by volunteers to heal the people left with ‘invisible’ wounds of war.