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'Warrior Songs' gives veterans creative ways to cope with PTSD

Posted at 1:41 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 14:41:56-04

"Seeds of Peace" is a poignant performance by the Vietnam Student Singers.

It's just one song you'll find on the CD "The Last Thing we Ever Do," which features compositions based on Vietnam veterans' memories of trauma.

The album is produced by "Warrior Songs," a Wisconsin non-profit. It provides veterans with creative ways to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It's all volunteer-run and funded by donations.

Iraqi war veteran Jason Moon came up with the idea.

"No one wants to hear about it. And that's why we carry it inside," Moon explains. "And that's why we isolate. When we are able to speak our truth and the civilians receive it, that is a profound moment."

Moon admits he struggled with PTSD and the moral dilemma of war.

"We were given an order. If anything got in our way, we run it over because of fear of ambush. I asked if that included children. They said yes."

He requested not to drive in that convoy. Still, he was haunted.

"There's no pretty way about it. That's what our CDs try to get through to people. It's why we do all first-person narratives," says Moon. "This is not a black and white issue, it's not an either-or. It's very gray. There are so many contingencies and things that happen in war that affect the individual."

Moon warns that the cost of war can affect families for generations.

"Remember that hurt people hurt people, unhealthy people hurt people. And so, when violent crime and violence happens in society, you can almost be certain the person who did it was hurt really bad in their life and has unresolved trauma. Not always, but by and large, most of the time."

But perhaps through soothing the mental wounds of war, we can all become closer to the harmony of peace.

Warrior Song CDs are available to veterans free of charge, or to the public for a $10 donation. Get more information here.

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