Songs4Soldiers began as an extension of me, my life experiences, and love of music. Yet thanks to the incredible community support from my hometown Columbia, IL, the movement has grown well beyond me. It includes the combat vets, their families, generous sponsors, and a growing Songs4Soldiers Nation of volunteers, event participants, donors and those sharing our message of hope.
A little about me, I am a father, musician (Dazed n Confused STL), event producer and an Iraq War Veteran. After a long, bloody tour in Iraq, my unit returned home in 2005 with three fewer soldiers, as well as several whom were severely wounded.
When my unit returned home in 2005, I thought the fight was over. In reality, it had just begun.
A few years after returning home – we lost yet another soldier from our unit, this time to suicide. Every human being faces some kind of tough time in their life, especially our combat veterans. Being asked to fight in a war is the easy part. Dealing with what happened, and things that you saw or did, is the hard part. When the guns go silent and you’re home, that’s when it all finally settles in for you.
It can lead to bad decisions and depression. It can very easily lead you to a dark, dark place. I was a lucky one in every sense of the word. I made it through Iraq unscathed, and came home to an incredibly loving family and community. Many do not.
”Songs4Soldiers was created and exists solely to HELP. Songs4Soldiers exists to give that second chance. Songs4Soldiers exists to be that last option when you’re down and out. Songs4Soldiers exists for you, the combat veteran. It’s truly simple. "
At thirty six years old I have learned one thing – experiences, family and friends are everything. The world can be a crazy place, and at the end of the day real change is made by daily actions and kindness. Almost everyday we help a different combat veteran. Having that kind of power and using it to the best of its ability – is truly a blessing that I never take for granted.
Please always keep the family members of our fallen and wounded in your thoughts and prayers. For many of them the war never ends.
~ Love and Light, Dustin Row