Music can be a powerful tool to help people recover from trauma.
The members of The Voices of Service, a singing group from Northern Virginia, know a thing or two about trauma. All four singers are either retired veterans or still on active duty. They’ve lost friends and colleagues to the horrors of combat, and they’ve watched others suffer from PTSD after returning from their tours of duties.
“I got back from Iraq in 2004. It took me ten years to realize that I had PTSD. In my mind, I was still in Iraq,” said Staff Sgt. Ron Henry.
Together with Master Sgt. Caleb Green, Sgt. Maj. Christal Rheams, and Sergeant First Class Jason Hanna, the foursome discovered that performing music together had therapeutic effects not just for themselves, but for other veterans and service members as well. They began performing at hospitals and other veteran centers in an effort to bring joy and healing to their brothers and sisters who’d been through what they had.
“We go into hospitals, using music to inspire those of us on a recovery journey,” said Sgt. Maj. Rheams. “Personally, we all have suffered our share of traumatic experiences.”
Voices of Service is now branching out to bring their message of love and healing through music to a wider audience. The group flew through the first round of auditions for “America’s Got Talent” with an inspiring version of Katy Perry’s “Rise” that had all of the judges wiping away the tears. Now they’re back for their second audition, and as usual they did not disappoint!
As the group stood before judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, and special guest judge Jay Leno, we could already tell from the way that Simon was gazing at them that the judges had high hopes for this talented group of heroes. Still, the moment they started singing the emotional ballad “See You Again” we were unprepared for the depth of emotion their singing would inspire.
Each member of Voices of Service has an incredibly powerful voice on their own, but when combined they are a force to be reckoned with. Before they began, the group dedicated their performance to those service members who suffered from PTSD and lost their will to live, offering up these lyrics like a prayer for their fallen brethren.
“It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again”
The judges seemed incredibly moved after they’d finished singing, and with good reason. Just knowing what these people have gone through out of love for our country brings a depth to their performance that few other groups can match. We are eternally grateful to people like these, who not only devote their lives to our freedom but also seek to bring healing through art.
Watch the emotional performance below, and be sure to share.
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