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. […]

Farewell to a Friend

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014

Sometimes life makes no sense. We have learned of the passing of Adan Olid who attended our retreat in November. He had been ill last week. His family told us he died from natural causes. We are deeply saddened at the loss of such a wonderful man. We do know that he found great joy […]

Participant Post – Navy Veteran

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014

  I have been affiliated with SongwritingWith:Soldiers for about 2 years now and have had the opportunity to be present both on the participant side and volunteer side. Believe it or not, both instances have provided and continue to provide a sense of healing much larger and much deeper than I have ever been able […]

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 […]

Mary Gauthier On Writing Songs with Soldiers

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014

  What would happen if you put 15 soldiers and 4 professional songwriters in a retreat center for 2 1/2 days, and asked them to write songs together, with the sole purpose of getting the veterans to open up and talk about their time in the service? So the songwriters could turn their soldiers stories […]

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 […]

Bridging the Gap with a Song

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014

SongwritingWith:Soldiers was deeply honored to be invited to the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s special event at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, DC. Not only were we able to thank our BWF friends in person for their guidance and support, we were also able to help them showcase their impact on small programs such as ours. […]

“I am changed because of this. I am a deeper person.”

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014

These words were said to me earlier today when I asked Peter, one of our SW:S Veterans from Albany, NY, how he felt listening to the songs he had written. “I still feel more release, even now. We need more of this for veterans,” he said quietly. Peter is a Vietnam Veteran who was initially […]

Something That Happened To You

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014

So, what do you see when you look at this photo? A bunch of men eating lunch, right? Maybe co-workers at a picnic, a ball team after a game? They are US Veterans from various wars sitting around the table with professional songwriters from Austin, Nashville and LA. What they are doing here is talking […]

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