Our Mission – In a Photo

Posted by on Feb 10, 2018

Look at this photo. A group of women gathered at a Painting with a Twist venue in January 2018. Study the photo then, click here where you will find SONGS written by each one of these women. Songs about combat, suicide, resilience, the pride of being a soldier and sadness of transitioning out, mascara, and […]

A Special Thank You from a SW:S Veteran

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017

Vietnam Veteran, Robb Robichaud, attended the November 2017 retreat at Heart J Center in Loveland, Colorado. A prolific writer, Robb was inspired further after attending the retreat and creativity workshops. He returned home and wrote the following poem as a tribute to the SW:S songwriters. He hopes that by sharing it he not only extends […]

Five Years Strong in 2017

Posted by on Oct 28, 2017

350+ songs 400+ veterans, active-duty, and military family members Five Years Strong in 2017 Building community and resiliency through song! October 2012 Three songwriters, a specialist in positive psychology, a handful of volunteers and ten soldiers gathered for the first SongwritingWith:Soldiers retreat outside Austin, TX. The ingredients for a powerful weekend. Ten songs, stories of hope, and a new community […]

A Story of Hope and Community

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017

Ramona was tired. She had been struggling lately. Her therapist encouraged her to attend the SongwritingWith:Soldiers retreat for all female veterans near Fort Hood in May. She reluctantly agreed, but had little hope of it making any difference. On Day Two Ramona sat down with songwriter, Mary Gauthier. They talked about both being from Louisiana, […]

Songwriting as Life Spark

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017

“The possible’s slow fuse is lit by the imagination.” Emily Dickinson For our veterans, it is sometimes difficult to describe how they feel immediately after writing a song. They have unexpectedly connected with someone they didn’t know and then created something entirely new, together. Something profoundly personal and beautiful—a song, out of some of the […]

One Songwriter. Countless Connections.

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017

At SongwritingWith:Soldiers, we talk a lot about the impact that collaborative songwriting has on our veterans and the far reaching “ripple effect” of their songs. One thing we don’t talk a lot about is the impact of our program on the professional songwriters. Many have said that the experience of writing with veterans and their […]

Building Human Bridges – In Memory

Posted by on Jan 11, 2015

I write this piece in honor of Ana Rouse-Chatman and Adan Olid, two Veterans who wrote songs with us at the November 2014 retreat in New York, and who recently passed away. Our hearts go out to their families. The songs written by Ana and Adan live on as beautiful testimony to the human spirit. […]

Songs of Families

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014

Imagine being a child and saying goodbye to your parent who is going off to war. Or being a parent, and saying goodbye to your family before you head off to combat…not knowing when, or if, you will make it home. When SW:S was asked to hold a retreat specifically for military families, we jumped […]

Special Feature — Guest blog from Retreat Visitor, a Veteran

Posted by on Jun 15, 2014

“That is exactly what I felt after this weekend, open, with light shining through armor. I’m hoping to see more veterans share their light; to break out of the box as one participant phrased it. The songs bring a complicated voice to the invisible soldier, allowing those who have no military experience to bear witness, […]

Heading Home

Posted by on May 9, 2014
Heading Home

“Chasing meaning is better for your health than avoiding discomfort.” – Kelly McGonigal   “I never leave my house…” No matter how many times we hear these words from veterans arriving at our SongwritingWith:Soldiers retreats, it is always a jolt. We want to ask why? Why do these exemplars of will and courage get to […]

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