Music City offers Tennessee vets its own unique take on therapy

Nov 4, 2016


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Operation Song is giving mid-state veterans a unique way to tell their stories.

The organization was launched in 2012 by Music City song writing veterans Bob Regan and Don Goodman.

During a recent song writing session on the campus of Middle Tennessee State Univeristy, songwriter Steve Dean sat down with former Army Staff Sergeant Blake Pickel to work on a tune.

Steve Dean
Credit Dokkestul

Dean, who wrote the song It Takes a Little Rain for the Oak Bridge boys, said getting to spend time with veterans is truly a gift.

“They need some help,” Dean explained. “They need people to talk to them. But the whole thing about writing a song with a veteran is that it becomes like therapy.”

Sergeant Pickel, who now lives in Antioch, served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During the MTSU session, Dean helped him work on a tune he’s entitled Screaming Eagles. The song describes how his life changed in the blink of an eye during combat.

Former Army Staff Sergeant Blake Pickel of Antioch, Tennessee.
Credit Dokkestul

“It’s awesome to be able to talk about,” Pickel said. “To have him actually listen to what you’re saying, and actually take it into account and try to actually understand what your experience was.”

MTSU Recording Industry Major Jaclyn Johannsen, also sat in on the writing session. She said the war stories Pickel told were like something Hollywood would write.

“When he was telling us his story, I’m like, you know I’ve seen that happen in a movie before,” she said. “You don’t ever realize, ‘Oh. This actually happens to people all the time.’”

Operation Song offers weekly programs for veterans at locations in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Chattanooga and Ft. Campbell.

For more information, visit their website