John Mayer is showing that it’s not only his voice that’s golden but also his heart as he recently announced the launch of The Heart and Armor Foundation.
This organization will focus on helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as meeting the needs of women veterans.
While he only made the public announcement on Friday, the Grammy winner has actually been working on setting up the foundation since 2012 alongside veterans, scientists, and clinicians.
In an interview with The Associated Press, he said, “We’re going to the public with things like published research papers and having raised enough money to really build some pilot programs.
We have some really great data and … we want it to be working first so that a lot of the questions were answered before we brought things to people by way of awareness.I think it just makes it that much more compelling and much more concise to bring it to people with the message being, ‘Hey, this is not taking something that is zero to try to get it to five.
This is something that is at 50 and we want to get it to 100.’”
Mayer’s father is a World War Two veteran and he said he got the inspiration for the foundation during a visit to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune back in 2008.
“Now this was with a friend of mine, so I was just plus one and nobody knew that the musician-guy was going.
That gave me a really fluorescent look at what was going on in the barracks.It wasn’t like they rolled out the red carpet for a celebrity, it was kind of a normal day,” he said. “It was going to the wounded warrior barracks that I think changed me forever.
It immediately showed me that my notion of what I think (are) the wounds of war are completely wrong.The way in which I was proven wrong was so compelling and fascinating and nuanced. ”
The foundation’s many accomplishments already include coming out with 10 publications in peer-reviewed journals, developing an exercise-based intervention for PTSD, and coming up with a nutrition screening tool for women veterans.
Gerard Coucroun, executive director of The Heart and Armor Foundation, said, “I’ve been in meeting after meeting where people ask, ‘Where did you get the money to do this exercise study? Where’d you get the money?’ I’m like, ‘Well I’ll tell you.’ People are excited about it before I tell them John Mayer did it.”
The foundation hopes to bring military and veteran communities closer together through outreach, events, and conversation. An event called “How War Changes Women, How Women Change War” was live-streamed at Facebook.com/JohnMayer and Facebook.com/HeartAndArmor on Friday.
Choucroun added, “We think that there’s something in here for everybody.This is not a quick black-and-white conversation. This is a very nuanced conversation. There’s a lot of an American identity going on in our relationship to vets.
It’s a relationship between the citizenry and the people who absorb and commit violence for that citizenry is such a rich, cultural ground dating back to the ancient Greeks that for us now, we want to be a part of that conversation.It goes much deeper than this set of wars that we’re in now.
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