Where do I begin? Music is so powerful but when you play an instrument it becomes even more meaningful. I've played guitar since I was in the 6th grade but had never considered not being able to play. That all changed on March 28, 2005 after my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army. About 5 years after losing my arm, I created a makeshift prosthetic to play guitar. I thought at best I'd be able to strum some chords but quickly realized I was only limited by my own doubt. Before I knew it I was jamming with blues scales and having a blast playing cover songs. However, it wasn't until I started to gain some basic music knowledge from my music lessons through CAMMO that my passion for guitar truly blossomed! I had always enjoyed playing guitar and would play fairly often but nowadays my passion is bordering on an obsession. I can't thank the CAMMO organization and my guitar instructor Brett Jazey enough for helping me find this newfound love for guitar!
To whom it may concern,
My name is Robert, and I am a former Combat Rescue Helicopter Pilot. Following deployments to Iraq, two different parts of Afghanistan, and Africa, during which I flew a combined 252 combat sorties, rescued/recovered 291 with 151 lives saved, I was medically retired in Oct 2015 due to PTSD and a TBI.
The difficult part is that I can never again fly because of my mental disabilities. I’ve never wanted to do anything else, to be honest. Last semester, I tried taking classes in the hopes of finding a different career, but my symptoms made it too difficult to continue in a classroom setting. For awhile, I was stuck with no idea of a future for myself, aside from generic online classes.
I have been a student with CAMMO for several months now taking one-on-one guitar lessons and have enjoyed them so much that I recently began vocal lessons with them as well. I am now in the process of applying for VA Vocational Rehab so that I can supplement these lessons and develop a musical career for myself.
I am beyond grateful to CAMMO, specifically Brett, Victor, and Cathie, for the opportunity to learn! I love how much progress I have made and how much peace playing music brings to my life. I cannot wait to continue with them in the future!