Vietnam Vets Inspiring story of hope

 In a recent interview, Guitars for Vets had the pleasure of sitting down with Joe Heaney, an Army Veteran who served from 1969 to 1973. Joe’s journey with Guitars for Vets is not just a story of learning to play the guitar; it’s a testament to the profound impact our program has on the lives of Veterans seeking healing through music.

Discovering Guitars for Vets:

We were thrilled to hear Joe’s enthusiasm for Guitars for Vets, which he proudly described as “the best program ever.” Despite residing an hour away from the nearest chapter in California, Joe eagerly joined the Cyber chapter, emphasizing his commitment to experiencing the therapeutic power of music. His instructor, Bruce Bjork, played a pivotal role in shaping Joe’s positive and personalized learning experience, setting the stage for the empowering journey that followed.

Learning and Community Support:

What stood out to Joe was Guitars for Vets’ commitment to facilitating learning via one-on-one lessons coupled with a dedicated week of practice following each lesson. coupled with a dedicated week of practice following each lesson. Joe highlighted the sense of community within the program, praising the dedication of volunteers and the camaraderie among Veterans that fosters a supportive atmosphere unique to Guitars for Vets.

Healing Through Music:

During our conversation, Joe opened up about facing challenging times, including the loss of his brother to cancer and his son to suicide. Guitars for Vets became a space for him, providing solace and joy through learning the guitar. The structured nature of the program offered Joe an outlet, lifting some of the emotional clouds and “made life a little bit nicer, easier, simpler.” 

Aha Moments and Blues Scale:

Our interview with Joe uncovered some truly remarkable moments, including a significant “light bulb moment” when he discovered the Blues Scale. This revelation not only opened new musical avenues but also symbolized the transformative experience that Guitars for Vets offers. Beyond teaching music, the program fosters moments of self-discovery and empowerment.

Words of Encouragement:

When asked about advice for prospective participants, Joe’s straightforward response, “Just do it,” encapsulates the essence of Guitars for Vets. He emphasized the wealth of resources, dedicated instructors, and the supportive community as reasons to take the leap, encouraging Veterans to embrace the opportunity that Guitars for Vets provides at no cost.


Joe’s empowering journey with Guitars for Vets is not just his story; it’s a testament to the positive impact our program has on Veterans seeking peace. By sharing Joe’s perspective, Guitars for Vets aims to inspire others to embark on their own journeys, fostering a community bound together by the healing power of music.  

Donate to continue supporting more stories like Joe’s.

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