CreatiVets’ mission is to empower wounded veterans to heal through the arts and music.

Until It feels like home by CreatiVets (featuring blackjack billy)

CreatiVets partnered with Big Machine Label Group in Nashville, TN to release songs written by veterans, for veterans. 

Since its beginnings in 2013, CreatiVets has operated under the mission of empowering veterans with the arts. The organization’s campaign with Big Machine features the stories of veterans from a variety of backgrounds. With the help of songwriters, producers and ongoing donations to the organization, CreatiVets has turned these veteran perspectives to song.

The first of these, titled “Until It Feels Like Home,” was inspired by Jesse Schertz. Schertz was serving as a Marine in 2004 when he was critically injured in the wake of a suicide bombing. The attack forced his return home to Illinois, where lasting nerve damage eventually led to the amputation of his left leg below the knee. He was the first veteran to go through the CreatiVets songwriting program in 2013. Schertz’s song will be the first of many released on the 20th of the next several months, and for a very specific reason.

Research shows that there are 20 suicides in the veteran space each day. Even more, the Department of Veteran Affairs reports that 14 of these veterans never sought help. CreatiVets’s ultimate goal is to end veteran suicide. Richard Casper, executive director of CreatiVets, shared, “Our music has been proven to help heal them, or at least make them feel connected to other veterans.” He added, “These songwriters in town could write a love song a thousand different ways, so they’re able to to tell a story from a veteran’s point of view that they thought they had no words for.”

Songwriting Program

“That 3 hour writing session did more for me than the past 6 years at the VA.”

— Veteran Participant, Songwriting Program

Visual Arts Program

“It’s hard to express in words how I felt after that experience, but I know I let go of something deep and feel that this experience is going to allow me to maintain that positive attitude while giving me the courage to live a meaningful life with my children.”

— Veteran Participant, Art Program

Featured Documentary

Our Co-founder and Executive Director, Richard Casper, was featured in a documentary produced by TIME Magazine.
Richard was also named a “Next Generation Leader” by Time Magazine.

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