We’ve all heard the sad stories of US military men and women who take their own lives after fighting overseas, while struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Suicide is always a tragedy, but when it comes after a service member has been deployed in a combat zone, it is doubly so.
Eddie Ridenour decided after he left the military that he would find a way to do something about it, as best he could, in whatever small way he could find. Knowing how much music had helped him when he was deployed with the 101st Airborne, and after dealing with a service-connected disability of his own, he came up with an idea: free music lessons for veterans.
Music For The Fight was founded with precisely that mission, to help fund music lessons and find instruments for veterans suffering from PTSD. At this stage the organization is just getting started, and has filed for 501(c)(3) status, and will soon be able to accept tax-deductible donations for their cause.
In the meantime, Eddie says their biggest need is for usable instruments, especially acoustic guitars. All instruments, however, will be welcome. You can contact Music For The Fight online and make arrangements to get a guitar, banjo, or any other instrument to them.
We met Ridenour at the SPBGMA convention last weekend, and he is a fine bluegrass musician on both mandolin and guitar. While he doesn’t plan to make this effort bluegrass-specific, they hope to find enough bluegrass instruments and instructors to include that option for all the veterans they will serve.
If you have an instrument collecting dust at home, Eddie will be delighted to give it a new home. You can also support his work by purchasing a new student instrument and sending that along.
Until their 501(c)(3) is established, they can’t accept cash donations, but there is a GoFundMe campaign set up to help raise an introductory $5,000 to cover initial organizing expenses.
Eddie is a good man with a big heart, and a strong desire to share the music he loves with his fellow veterans in need of a reason to get up in the morning. Please support his work with Music For The Fight.