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Music to Our Ears

Here at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone, we are grateful for the many community partners that share our passion for caring for our military Veterans and their families.  We are honored to work alongside these organizations as together we ensure our nation’s heroes and their loved ones know they are never alone.  To that end, we would be remiss if we did not share their amazing stories of serving.  Here is a closer look at one such partner, Operation Song. This powerful non-profit shares our belief that the arts help heal. In this case, through the power of song.

They’ve opened for Metallica, joined forces with Kane Brown at recent Drive-In Concerts, and recently turned the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic into a studio again, all in the name of supporting our nation’s heroes. Operation Song is a true blessing and valued friend of the Cohen Clinics at Centerstone – bringing music to our ears and warmth to our hearts.

“It’s hard to describe just how powerful an Operation Song workshop can be,” Meghan Williams, outreach director at the Cohen Clinic at Centerstone in Clarksville, TN said. “This group of Nashville songwriters is so compassionate and when paired with a veteran, service member or family member, that compassion, coupled with their talents, create moving melodies that can leave a listener awestruck.”

Operation Song is a Nashville non-profit created by award-winning songwriter Bob Regan in 2012.  After performing at military bases around the world with Armed Forces Entertainment tours, Regan was inspired by the stories he would hear from those in uniform. He learned a great deal about the battles they faced and the invisible wounds of war that can often be difficult to heal. He knew immediately their experiences should be shared and that through the magic of songwriting they could come alive giving a voice and hope to those who sacrificed so much in the name of our freedoms.

“It is always a humbling experience to be surrounded by our servicemen and women,” Regan said. “I wanted to support them somehow and wondered if putting their stories to song might help bring peace. It’s been incredibly rewarding for me and the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Each Operation Song workshop features a variety of professional songwriters paired with participating veterans or family members. After a few hours of sharing their experiences, they together transform those experiences into verses and choruses that capture the heart of the matter like only music can.

“Songwriters are really skilled at taking all these pieces and hanging them on an arc with a melody. I think what makes it so effective is when we work with veterans that service-related issues, is that they come in and say, ‘I could never write a song’. We tell them, ‘Good, you are the perfect candidate,” Regan said.

Since 2012, Regan and his fellow songwriters have helped create more than 850 powerfully intimate songs, some of those from inside the Cohen Clinic at Centerstone. They have no plans to slow down either and are currently hosting workshops virtually due to physical distancing guidelines. Their mission is clear, to “Bring them back, one song at a time” – that mission is music to our ears. For more information on Operation Song visit the organization’s website at https://www.operationsong.org/.  The group also has an app available in your smartphone app store and stay tuned to the Cohen Clinic at Centerstone’s Facebook page, the clinic hopes to team up with our friends at Operation Song to host another workshop soon.

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