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 […]


Posted by on Jan 21, 2017

The other day, as I was walking along the trail behind my house, I thought of the many people who have said to me, “You are always so positive.” Or, “I need Mary time.” I thought of this as I tried to set my pace, my feet and knees struggling more than usual. I knew […]

Greg Trooper – A Tribute

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017

Greg Trooper passed away on January 16, 2017. He’d been sick for awhile, but he didn’t let it slow him down that much. He was still doing shows up until a few months ago, and had just recorded tracks for a record with Stewart Lerman, Steuart Smith and Kenny Blevins, all old friends. Trooper and […]

How Do We Acknowledge Veterans Day?

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016

We have learned so much from the veterans who have attended our SongwritingWith:Soldiers programs—the various reasons they joined the military, the struggles they endured, the feats they accomplished, the deep bonds they formed with their brothers and sisters in arms, as well as the pain of loss. We have also learned that many of our […]

What About The Wolves?

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016

By Mary Judd, SW:S Executive Director He stared at me, his eyes silver blue, intense. I could tell he was gritting his teeth behind his slight grin, jaw muscles pulsating. He thought he’d gotten me. I knew this was coming eventually, being cornered and questioned by a combat veteran during a SongwritingWith:Soldiers retreat – and […]

Inspiring and “Outspiring”

Posted by on May 11, 2016

At SongwritingWith:Soldiers retreats, veterans talk a lot about being inspired—inspired to share their stories with the songwriters, inspired by each other’s courage in opening up, inspired by the powerful songs written, inspired by a new community of friends. Recently, I heard Megan McDonough, co-founder and CEO of the Wholebeing Institute, speak about challenging ourselves to take […]

One Day…

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016

Our story is simple. One day in 2012, Darden Smith wrote a song with a veteran. The connection was so strong that he thought, What if I got more songwriters to do this? On that same day, Mary Judd watched them work together and recognized the impact of helping veterans transform their stories into songs. She thought, What if I designed […]

Thank You To The Bob Woodruff Foundation!

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016

At 6 o’clock I will defend you At 6 o’clock just call my name At 6 o’clock I’d die for you And I know you’d do the same From I Got Your 6 written at a SongwritingWith:Soldiers retreat by two Iraq war veterans and a professional songwriter If it weren’t for The Bob Woodruff Foundation, the […]

Load More