Veterans, first responders and civilian trauma survivors will get a chance to experience healing during a special event being presented this week by the nonprofit Raven Drum Foundation.
Mountain Rhythm Reset, set for Sept. 21 - 23 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will bring inspirational speakers, professional drummers and those in the community struggling to overcome trauma together.
“We do focus on veterans and first responders, “ said Raven Drum Foundation Board Member Larry Broughton, who is himself a U.S. Army veteran. “We do this by integrating advocacy, story telling, music and arts programs at our events.”
Raven Drum Foundation was founded by Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen and his wife, healing arts practitioner Lauren Monroe in 2001, Broughton said. It serves, educates and empowers trauma survivors in numerous communities that may be in crisis.
Allen began playing with Def Leppard in 1978 and continued to play after an accident led to the amputation of his left arm in January of 1985. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was introduced to a number of veterans during a visit to Walter Reed National Medical Center in Washington, DC in 2006.
Broughton said Allen saw himself in some of the wounded service members he met while visiting the hospital.
“These vets, many of whom are highly driven super performers but perhaps were struggling with post traumatic stress or the physical deformities of losing arms, limbs, you know, burned over much of their body, questioning what am I going to do now,” said Broughton. “They begin to question am I going to be able to serve after this.”
Broughton said Monroe and Allen began working on a self-help program to give veterans and other at-risk individuals new tools to battle suicidal thoughts, anxiety and depression, which ultimately led to Mountain Rhythm Reset.
The effort seeks to inspire mental health, resiliency and unity, he continued. A key component of the event will be its drum circle.
“We bring lots of musical celebrities together,” Broughton said. “There is something primal that touches our soul when it comes to drumming.”
Matt Sorum of Guns & Roses, Duane Trucks of Widespread Panic, Gina Schock from the Go-Go’s and Wally Ingram. who plays with Jackson Browne and Sheryl Crow, will perform at the drum circle, as will Allen.
Broughton’s father was a U.S. Marine who served during World War II and fought during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
“Oftentimes it takes warriors to be around warriors to make them feel safe enough, to feel protected enough, to let down their guard,” he said.
Broughton said a number of veterans, including Army veteran J.R. Martinez, an actor and performer on “Dancing With The Stars” will also speak at the event. John Roberts, a founding member of Wounded Warrior Project, is also slated to speak.
Musicians such as Taylor Swift have also donated items which will be auctioned off.
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Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.