During difficult times in back in Iraq, a New Jersey native Nairobi Cruz was comforted by the smooth sounds of country music. Nairobi had never heard this genre of music before joining the Army.
For Jose Mercedes, it was an eclectic iPod mix that helped him cope with losing an arm in combat.
Now both veterans are enrolled in a program that hopes to use music to ease their reintegration into civilian life.
Mercedes of Union City “It’s a therapy session without the ‘sit down, lay down, and write notes, It’s different – it’s an alternative that’s way better.”
This program, :Voices of Valor”, has veterans work as a band to show their experiences into musical lyrics. They write and record songs, guided by musicians and a psychology mentor.
The eight-week program is currently open to veterans of any age and background and no musical experience is required.