This Independence Day, we humbly pay thanks and respect to each veteran who has served this country with bravery and selflessness. Many heroic men and women have given up their lives in order to protect and preserve our country, and many continue to fight to this day. As a granddaughter of two veterans, I know that my grandfathers did not come home the same men that they left as. My grandmothers had to learn to love their husbands all over again as they returned from such traumatic and life-changing circumstances.
Years ago, after World War I and II, hospitals scrambled to treat the veterans returning from war with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a disorder left formally unidentified until after the Vietnam War). It was at this time that new, creative therapies were needed to help treat the veterans returning home with unfathomable emotional and mental trauma.
Did You Know?
According to the American Music Therapy Association, “The 20th century [music therapy] profession formally began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars,” (https://www.musictherapy.org/about/history/).
It was this exposure and use of music therapy that increased the demand for music therapy as a formal treatment and recognized it as a profession in need of a collegiate degree and formal training. We all, as US citizens, have many reasons to thank veterans for their service. Among these many reasons, as music therapists specifically, we are especially grateful as these WWI and WWII veterans believed in the power of music as a healing treatment. If it were not for these veterans and the ones preceding them, who knows what circumstances our now-free country would be under, and where music therapy would be as a formally renowned occupation.