Veterans often find it difficult to adjust back to daily life when they return home, but a fellow soldier says that music and art can help them regain a sense of healing and hope.
Warrior Songs has spent most of the past decade with songwriting and other artistic endeavors to help veterans with PTSD help channel the flood of emotions that she experienced after the return of the battle.
The organization was founded by Jason Moon, an Iraq veteran who returned to Wisconsin in 2004 of a tour of duty and found it difficult to adjust to civilian life while suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I had a hard time,” Moon told Fox News. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I had PTSD.”
“For four years, I went downhill.”
Life became increasingly dire. In 2008 he tried to commit suicide.
That was the moment that led him to seek help.
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The non-profit organization helps veterans come to terms with their time in the war through the creation of music and art.
“I started the real treatment,” Moon said. He went for observation at his local VA hospital and when he was released, he searched for ways to deal with the pain that he bore.
Then he turned to music.
“I started writing songs,” he said. “They were really supposed to be cathartic for me. It was really the best way to get all those things off my chest.”
In 2011, he compiled the songs that he wrote an album with the title “Trying to Find My House.” After placing the online music, he has received e-mails from other vets and their family members to tell him how his music helped them with their own process.
Moon decided to go on the road and perform for others in the veterans community. During this time, he was inspired to start Warrior Numbers.
“It was an ‘aha’ moment for me,” Moon said. “As soon as I realized that my music was helping other people, I was worth to stay and that I had to help others.”
Moon made it his mission to help his fellow members.
Since January 2011 he has traveled more than 200,000 km, assembly and the making of more than 180 presentations of thousands of veterans as well as who is currently logged on. Warrior Songs was the result.
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Todd Fahn says that writing songs and bonding with fellow vets in 2013, a Warrior Songs retreat has helped him in the difficult time he had after returning home.
The organization helps veterans although a variety of programs that uses the arts to help them better understand the experience of the war and its aftermath.
The ethos is that the processing of these experiences by means of music or other artistic media helps to bridge the gap between vets and their loved ones and also helps them, to recover the hope.
One of the ways in which it helps to achieve this is by means of artistic places where they write songs, create visual art, and especially, experience camaraderie with other vets—perhaps the only other people who understand what they went through.
“As a Vietnam vet, what these retreats offer is so instrumental in not only our individual healing, but by providing a venue for camaraderie with more recent veterans of the war, filling a need, not only for us personally, but also reap benefits for generations to come,” said a veteran named Ray, in a letter to Warrior Stories which was provided to Fox News.
“It’s been over 40 years since my return from the conflict in Vietnam, for the first time I’ve felt acceptance among my colleagues. I have a feeling that my isolation, failed relationships and a career have been vindicated in the truth telling of our stories, my experiences are validated. Now I am free to speak my truth, by all of you, able to respond to my position as ‘elder’, no longer a pariah. Through art, through poetry, singing and writing, Warrior’s Song has made it possible to speak of the unspeakable,” he wrote.
Todd Fahn, a Calvary sniper with the U.S. Army tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a veteran who faced the same problems as the Moon when he returned home to his native Washington state.
“Life is not easy when you come back,” Fahn told Fox News. “When you serve, you get used to the standard of a life and death situation. That you could die at any moment.
“If you’re there, you accept this fact and face it head on.”
Fahn said that the train of thought was difficult when he was back in america.
“You come back to civilian life and people just don’t care,” he said. “It makes things difficult and you just want to give up.”
Fahn said: “it is that experience that made him a “hermit” only to the outside late in the evening, or for a short period of time.
“My anxiety goes through the roof,” he said. “I take so many medications just to get up to go to the store.”
In 2013, he lived a Warrior Songs retreat, where he wrote his own songs about the pain that he went by and got solace in the camaraderie with other vets.
“It was not until I went to the retreat I was able to open up,” Fahn called. “I was not able to do that for a long time. It gave me the opportunity to give where I’ve been and help me through it.
“Many people don’t understand the hell of war.”
Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter via @perrych