GRANTS PASS, Ore. – For the second year in a row, the group DD 214 played some of their original music for the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration at Riverside Park.
The group started in 2011 after the Josephine County Veterans Service Office Manager, Lisa Pickart saw the impact music could have.
“I was playing at an event at the vet center and Bob Eaton asked to play my guitar. He sat down and he played a song that described his time in Vietnam. He had the whole place laughing and in tears all at the same time,” Pickart said.
Bob Eaton, a Vietnam army veteran, says music changed his life.
“I picked up a guitar off the internet in 2005 and I learned how to play the guitar and started writing music. It took me out of a funk. I was severely depressed, suicidal,” Eaton said.
He’s been with the DD 214s going on six years now.
During that time, he’s written over 30 songs.
He says the lyrics have helped him and his fellow servicemen and women relate and cope.
“I look out at the audience when I’m singing and those guys are my brothers and sisters,” Eaton said.
Pickart says she’s seen the power of music work for Eaton and 65 other veterans that have come through the music program.
“The endorphins that are released when people play music in your brain, really relax people. They change the chemistry and it really helps to combat those symptoms of PTSD,” Pickart said.