Veteran Group ‘Voices of Service’ Wows ‘America’s Got Talent’ Audience
The Voices of Service quartet is raising awareness while thrilling the "America's Got Talent" audience and judges this season.
The Voices of Service quartet is raising awareness while thrilling the “America’s Got Talent” audience and judges this season. Comprised of military veterans, the group is shining a light on the power of music therapy for veterans.
Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Ron Henry, Sgt. Major Christal Rheams, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Hanna, and Master Sgt. (Ret.) Caleb Green travel the country singing for those in active service and veterans of the military.
For their final performance on “America’s Got Talent,” they performed Leona Lewis’s “Footsteps in the Sand.”
The group primarily performs at veteran’s hospitals and other military venues. But they’ve also performed at the American Legion Convention and the Joining Forces event at Vice President Joe Biden’s home.
What is Music Therapy?
Voices of Service has an affiliation with the Center for American Military Music Opportunities (CAMMO). And while CAMMO provides opportunities for veterans to perform, they also believe strongly in the mental health benefits of music therapy in treating PTSD.
The great thing about music therapy is it doesn’t require surgery or taking a pill. And the social, communication, emotional, physical, cognitive, sensory, and spiritual benefits of music doesn’t necessarily require talent.
Listening to others sing is often one of the most effective mood changers.
PTSD and Suicide
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CAMMO and Voices of Service are performing a much-needed service in the military community.
Unfortunately, the suicide rate among veterans one-and-a-half times more likely than for those who never served. Music therapy is one way they’re trying to close the gap.
“There are so many people still hurting and coping in silence,” Ron Henry said previously on the show. “We want to be that voice for them, to bridge the gap… and let them know, most importantly, it’s OK to not be OK.”
And Rheams says they dedicate their song choices and performances to “our brothers and sisters whose voices have been silenced, who could not find peace on this side.”
“Personally, we all have suffered our share of traumatic experiences,” Rheams said on an early episode of ‘AGT.’ “You can’t do it alone, and music can help all of us heal. We’re here to spread that message to everybody.”
Singing with Billy Ray Cyrus
This week, the quartet paired up with country music star Billy Ray Cyrus to sing his hit “Some Gave All.” They dedicated the song to the people whose story is told in it — Americans who gave their lives in service to the country.
America’s Got Talent Finale
Despite not winning the top prize on season 14 of “AGT,” the group expressed their happiness about sharing their message.
“It’s been gratifying — we’re so happy to get this message out,” Ron Henry said early on.
Ultimately, singer Kodi Lee, who is blind and autistic, won first place.
But the members of Voices of Service should be proud of their achievement. The greatest being the enjoyment of the military personnel they perform for regularly.