Back in episode 794 of this podcast, Vietnam Veteran News, The Healing Box Project was featured. The Project is a program being carried out at the Truman VA Hospital in Columbia, Missouri by Dave Dunklee and his wife CJ. The purpose of the Project is to help veterans with PTSD with the magic of music, guitar music to be exact.
The method of operation and results or the Project are so astounding I felt the need to have Dave and CJ as guests on the podcast to tell us more about this outstanding method of dealing with the terrible effects of PTSD. They were kind enough to come on and share with us about the Project. Dave is a retired music teacher who lives in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. He and CJ heard about a program at the VA hospital intended to help veterans of the Gulf wars and he thought with his teaching talents he could help so he volunteered his services to the hospital.
The Dunklees immediately set up a program of teaching veterans how to assuage PTSD symptoms with playing guitars. Dave had developed a training procedure during his years of teaching that could have a totally novice playing tunes within five minutes. The program he was working with ended when the Gulf war slowed up but he was immediately requited by councilors to continue his program at the Truman VA Hospital.
The couple readily accepted the invitation and continued The Healing Box Project that had been started for Gulf War veterans. Now most of their clients are Vietnam Veterans. Their success rate has been phenomenal and it has prevented more than one contemplated suicide. All the work they do for the Project is voluntary and they receive no support from the VA other than a place to meet.
To date they have given away at no cost to the participating veterans 88 guitars. These instruments have an average cost of $270 each and they are all premium brands like Fender and Gibson. Funds for the guitars come from fundraisers and donations.
This is a tremendous program run by some wonderful people. You are encouraged to make a donation to the Project so the Dunklees can continue their important work.
CLICK HERE for their website.
CLICK HERE for their Facebook page