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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.

Any given day of the week, the offices within the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic are homes to healing. On one particular Saturday this month, that healing was put to music thanks to Operation Song.

 “It’s hard to describe just how powerful an Operation Song retreat can be,” Meghan Williams, Outreach Director at the Cohen Clinic at Centerstone 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 awe struck.”

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 service men 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.

“It is an inspirational day,” Williams said. “We’ve hosted three of these events now in the clinic and I am amazed each and every time. From the minute a veteran walks in the room, to the moment their composition is complete, there’s a sense of hopeful magic in the air that, in the end, finds a home in the notes and carefully chosen lyrics of their song.”

Since 2012, Regan and his fellow songwriters have helped create more than one thousand powerfully intimate songs, three more were added to that list this month. They have no plans to slow down either and are currently hosting workshops around the country. 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 organizations 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 again next spring.

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