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Friday, September 20, 2013

Nashville Songwriters to help Middle Tennessee Heroes Heal Through Workshop

Fort Campbell is proud to be the home of the only Air Assault Division in the world, the 101st Airborne Division, the Army’s most-deployed contingency forces. In fact, the most recent U.S census recognizes that Clarksville, TN as the 2nd densest veteran population in the country. An hour drive from Clarksville and Fort Campbell is Nashville, TN, home to the Tennessee National Guard. Members of the Tennessee National Guard  have been deployed multiple times since 2002.

Many of these warriors carry with them Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other emotional, mental, and physical injuries.

There is little argument that war is hard. The sacrifice, courage, and determination that it takes for the men and women of America’s Armed Forces to face loss of life and limb on the battlefield can be unimaginable to most ordinary civilians.  Often, the battlefield is not left behind when our military men and women return home. The burden of war is carried within them. The memories of combat experiences invade the mind daily. This impacts their ability to rejoin the community, families are torn apart, jobs are lost, and some face incarceration. The solider suffers silently while family and close relationships watch hopelessly.

Because music can change and even potentially save a life, Soldiers and Families Embraced (SAFE) and The Beat of Life are combining the expertise and resources of trained counselors and professional songwriters to help Ft. Campbell's veterans and active duty military personnel find a voice to tell their stories through songs.

The Bluebird Café calls the songwriters the “heroes behind the hits”. Nashville is nationally recognized as one of the top homes for successful songwriters of all genres. Induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is one of the nation's highest songwriting honors. The songwriter is the heart beat of Music City and Middle Tennessee.

On the weekend of September 20-22, 2013, twenty servicemen and women have been invited to attend a retreat at the beautiful Cedar Crest United Methodist Campsite in Lyles, TN, where each soldier will be paired with one of Nashville’s most prolific songwriters to collaborate in telling their stories and creating original songs. Those stories, told through the undeniable power of music, will hopefully help begin that healing process.

Singing Their Stories Concert:

On November 8, 2013 at 7pm, these soldiers-turned-songwriters will take the stage with their co-writers to perform the original songs created at the retreat for family, friends, and the general public. The concert will feature hit songwriters and top artists from Nashville. The concert will be held at Austin Peay State University’s nationally acclaimed George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall. It will be a night sure to be filled with healing as well as inspiration for all. Tickets are $5 at the door and a love offering will be collected to fund the counseling work of SAFE.

Singing Their Stories is sponsored by Shofner Vision Center, Austin Peay State University, Tennessee United Methodist Church Camp and Retreat Ministries, The Beat of Life, and SAFE.

SAFE is a resource for the region to ease the readjustment and reintegration of military members returning from our current wars and their families, as well as veterans from previous eras. The counselors and staff of Soldiers And Families Embraced are made up of veterans, family members of veterans or active duty military, or have extensive experience working with them. All services are confidential and provided free of charge.

The Beat of Life was also founded on the belief that we live in a city of tremendous heart, where members particularly of our music community are eager to give of their time, skills, talents, and passions, but that there was a need for a one stop shop, a central clearinghouse of sorts, to bring together what we have with what is needed in this city.

For Interviews:

Rev. Jodi McCullah (SAFE) 615-347-9071
Jeni Dominelli (The Beat of Life) 615-957-6324

Songwriter List:

David Bradley, Bob Regan, Tim Gaetano, Doug Drake, Lisa Malone, Stephen Cochran,  Jason Jones, Keni Thomas, Jeremy Bussey, Michael Peterson, Tim Maggart, Eric Lee Beddingfield

Album Production: Curt Ryle will be producing the album of the songs created by the heroes and songwriters

The Song Team: Jeff Jacob & Sheree Austin

Photo Credits: Fort Campbell, Commissioner Many-Bear Grinder, Cedar Crest Camp, and The Beat of Life


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