Veteran music program in danger of closing due to lack of funds

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A musicy therapy program for veterans with PTSD is in danger of being silenced (KTRK)

A music therapy program could be silenced, if the organization behind it doesn't get the funding it needs.

Rock For Recovery is a non-clinical music therapy group of veterans helping veterans with PTSD. The man who started it has been using his own money to keep it going, but he says the well is running dry and they face eviction.

Everyone in the program was injured in combat.

"We got hit by an IED," says founder SSG Ret. Paul Delacerda. "And I got traumatic brain injury from it, and post-traumatic stress disorder."

After his discharge from the Army, Paul Delacerda started Warrior Spirit Band, now called the Wounded Warrior Band. They perform at military bases nationwide

"We sit down with these wounded warriors and we show them that the disability is not a stopping point in their life. They're able to use music to express themselves."

Out of the band came Rock for Recovery, the non-clinical music therapy program for fellow veterans living with PTSD. It's housed in a building near downtown Houston.

"They're able to talk veteran to veteran. It's not a psychiatrist or a counselor."

"Music, I think, in a way has been able to distract but also heal in the same way," adds Spc. Ryan McGuire.

McGuire served in Iraq. He says he's considered 100-percent disabled by the VA because of his PTSD. He tells Eyewitness News Rock for Recovery has given his life a sense of normalcy and excitement.

"Being able to have a purpose to wake up to and something to go to and do and be active with, rather than sitting alone in my apartment has been huge," he explains.

But the Rock for Recovery is in trouble. It relies on donations. What donations don't cover, Paul Delacerda covers with money from his Army pension, always a sacrifice, but never a problem until recent months.

"I've had life things happen, and my pension couldn't take care of the rent. So we fell behind," said Delcerda.

They've been served an eviction notice and need close to $5,000 to stay open, at least for the time being.

"We don't want to lose our building," Delacerda says.

Hundreds of veterans, he says, are depending on it.

You can donate to Rock for Recovery on their website or through their GoFundMe page .
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