Veterans find therapy through rock and roll
By Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 31, 2013
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- For the last three years a group of musical veterans have lifted spirits in veteran affairs clinics, nursing homes and base exchanges through the playing of rhythm and blues.
Vets in Tune is a band of disabled veterans from the Denver area that served in a variety of eras between the Vietnam War and the most recent wars in the Middle East. The band is made up of U.S. Air Force veteran Gary Satchell, vocalist and guitarist; U.S. Air Force veteran Ivan Taylor, guitarist; U.S. Army veteran Michael Paplow, bass guitarist; and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Dennis Hurlburt, drummer.
One of their most recent performances was at the Exchange food court May, 17.
"I thought they were fantastic, I really enjoyed them. They played a real variety of songs and I knew most of them," said Joyce White who was in the audience at the performance.
After a talent show at the Denver VA Medical Center, an idea sparked and individual acts were combined; Vets in Tune was formed.
"We all really enjoy playing, but the thing that really gets us is when we go into a VA and the patients get up with their walkers or get out of their wheel chairs to dance. Its kind of like therapy for them but it also inspires us," Taylor said.
The quartet travels the Front Range fueled on inspiration; they perform an average of 40 times a year.
"It feels great when the people come up to you and tell you that you made their day," he said.
After dedicating years of service to their country, Vets in Tune continues to give their time and music to the military.
"It makes it still feel like you are a part of the military team, its one way to stay involved," he said. "It's our way of giving back to the military community."
The band has had several members come and go during the years, but their determination to perform the best show every time is what keeps them going.
"It's hopefully a lasting legacy where people see what we are doing and want to pass it on," he said.