A local rock band known for helping disabled veterans played an afternoon of music at The Fish and Company restaurant in Camdenton on Sunday in order to raise support for their cause, to give acoustic guitars and music lessons to veterans at Fort Leonard Wood.
At a silent auction inside the bar, patrons had a chance to bid for the opportunity to take home one of three autographed acoustic guitars.
The acoustic guitars were autographed by 38 Special, Guess Who, and Jimmy Van Zant, who gladly contributed their signatures for The Healing Box Project, which provides acoustic guitars and free music lessons to disabled veterans at Fort Leonard Wood.
Patron Lloyd Healy said the cause is what made him seriously consider placing a bid. "If you've understand what they've given up, nothing is really too good for these guys," Healy said. "Anything that you can do to help make things a little better, particularly for their families."
Since 2013, Dave Dunklee and his band Nass T Habit have worked together on the project. So far, they have given away 25 guitars.
"We always let them know, it's because you sacrificed to much to protect our freedom, we're just giving back," Dunklee said. "We appreciate what you've done, it's all about you. And now we're going to have you learn how to play guitar."
Bass player Ed Tucker said seeing the change in spirits of the veterans they provide guitars for has caused him to grow as a person too. "When he learns to love music the way I have my whole life, it levels the playing field," Tucker said. "It just helps with the emotions of being able to get through life."
Dunklee said bringing happiness to those who have sacrificed so much is completely worth it.
"They've sacrificed a lot," Dunklee said. "The veterans we work with have been severely injured, they're 100% disabled. We feel that they can heal and have a better life with a little bit of music."
The band hopes after Sundayâ??s auction that theyâ??ll be able to give away six more guitars.