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Troops Sing a Different Tune With Warrior Cry

September 20, 2012
By Rita Boland

Normally Homefront Help stories focus on the need-to-know information. But every so often an opportunity arises to take an in-depth look at the dedicated manner in which people across the country use diverse skill sets and interests to serve the military community. Such is the case with Warrior Cry--an all-volunteer group that provides musical instruments to wounded warfighters and helps find musicians to provide instructions when requested.

"The [injured troops] are trying to get over something very dramatic," Robert Henne, Warrior Cry's founder and president, says. "They're dealing with red tape on their care, their checks. They're trying to figure out if they'll be homeless. I don't want them having to buy ... anything related to the music. The music is supposed to be therapeutic." Ideally, the time patients spend with instruments should be fun and casual. "My goal is to make them 15 again," Henne explains. "Sitting there in the garage, jamming with their buddies, talking about girls."

Though Warrior Cry serves men and women, Henne says that 99 percent of the patients he encounters are male. The group's tagline--Chicks dig guitars and scars--grew partly out of this fact. But the tongue-in-cheek statement also represents a portion of what Warrior Cry wants to do--help troops with severe injuries feel normal, which includes feeling attractive again. An experience that particularly touched Henne involved an 18-year-old service member who had lost both his legs and wanted a guitar. He shared with Henne that his lower body is scarred and covered in skin grafts, but if he can sit around a campfire with pants on, playing a guitar, girls can get to know him and what he still has to offer, which is more than just being an amputee. He worries that because of his wounds, "No one is going to love me. I want them to love me."

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