Saturday, April 7, 2012

Six String Heroes

MEET KEN WALKER, a local farmer and Vietnam War veteran who is our first Six String Heroes graduate. Ken is a great guy and has lots of stories - he was an underwater demolitions specialist and mucked through a lot of stuff in combat.

Ken was looking for something to do after serving his country for many years. He has PTSD and needed a hobby to take his mind off of things.  When they moved back to Quincy his wife got him a guitar. Then he found out about our program, started in St. Louis by Quincy native Steve Stoner. Six String Heroes at Jefferson Barracks has made a difference in many Veterans lives. Second String Music quickly realized how amazing this program is, and when Steve suggested we start a program in Quincy, we couldn't say no.

Six String Heroes gives Veterans six free guitar lessons, a loaner guitar to use and a real guitar to take home after the sixth lesson, all at no cost to the veteran. We are selling SSHJB T-shirts for a $10 donation and our friends at Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Vancil Performing Arts Center have raised a boatload of money for the program.  It is so great to have such community support for this great group.  We accept donations of guitars in any condition to help with the program.

Ken has a wry sense of humor and picks things up well. He likes to sit out on his porch with his guitar and do some simple strumming, and learning a few chords and some different techniques has helped him enjoy it more.

"When it's just you and your guitar, it's like everything else just goes away," he says. "It takes my mind off things. I love it."

It's the very least we can do for our veterans who have served our country and risked their lives. Ken is going to continue with lessons and I think he's going to turn into a fair picker, sooner than later.

It's an awesome program and we are humbled and honored to be a part of it.

1 comment:

  1. Great word choice - this sounds like an amazing program, one to be both humbled by and honored to participate in. Good on you, Brother.