VA Hosts Music Therapy Retreat
Aimed at helping former service members process some of their military experiences, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the nonprofit Operation Song recently launched the first of a series of national music therapy retreats that started in Nashville, Tennessee.
Working with VA Voluntary Services and Veterans Canteen Service, the four-day songwriting retreat is designed to connect veterans from around the United States with professional songwriters and VA therapists, as they translate their service experiences into songs, which will be recorded in a music studio for the veterans to keep.
Veterans from all military conflicts such as, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan are encouraged to attend the retreat.
Veterans who wish to participate in the Operation Song retreat program must be referred by their VA health care provider.
Presumptive Disability Categories
Veterans should familiarize themselves with the “presumptive categories” that designate many physical and psychological conditions that are presumed service connected.
Former Prisoners of War (POW)
Former POWs are eligible for VA compensation for disabilities related to their military service and captivity. Certain conditions are presumed to be related to time in captivity. These presumptive disabilities are based on studies of the long-term effects of captivity, deprivation, trauma, and cold injury on former POWs.
There are two different lists of presumptive conditions depending on the length of time a veteran was a POW. One list of presumptive conditions is for POWs who were held captive for 30 days or more. The other list of presumptive conditions has no specified time frame. Captivity could be 1 day or more.