Back to Music

Wounded warrior band, Vetted, to perform

Original music shares their personal stories of struggle

From left to right, Vetted is James Greenlee, lead guitar; Jared Jones, bass guitar; Shannon Brook, guitar and vocals; and Paul Delacerda, drums. Photo courtesy of Vetted

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Each day, 22 wounded warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury commit suicide, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. That amounts to 8,000 veterans per year taking their own lives.

Vetted, the first nationally recognized all-wounded warrior rock band based in Houston, Texas, believes one solution to reducing the number of suicides is performing original music that conveys their personal stories and encourages soldiers to move past their disability and adopt a "never quit" attitude.

Vetted will start their 2016 No Man Left Behind Tour at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Friday, Jan. 8, performing for the U.S. Army's Warrior Transition Battalion. As of press time, the performance is scheduled for noon. For up-to-date information, visit the band's Facebook page Friday at facebook.com/vettedband.

"Every one of our band members has lost someone they know to suicide even as recent as before Christmas," said retired Army Staff Sergeant Paul Delacerda, Vetted's band leader and drummer.

Delacerda formed the band in 2009. In its first iteration, it was known as the Warrior Spirit Band. The group was inspired following Delacerda's performance on drums at a Wounded Warrior Project talent show. Another soldier with a prosthetic arm got up after him and performed the "The Star Spangled Banner." They decided to join forces and put together a band composed of wounded warriors.

"When I first started, I wondered why there wasn't a band like ours already," Delacerda said.

While on tour in Iraq in 2005 with the 82nd Airborne Division, Delacerda was a victim of an IED attack and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was medically retired in 2009.

Out of the success of Warrior Spirit Band, Delacerda founded Rock 4 Recovery, a Houston-based nonprofit, in 2010. Rock 4 Recovery's home base is a 15,000-square-foot music studio where wounded warriors come from all around to visit and play on instruments and sound equipment that have been donated and learn an appreciation for music, whether that be learning how to write a song, manage a band, or producing an album.

"We tell you this is what music does for me and this is how the program can work for you," Delacerda said. "We partner with big name artists and their management companies. And we provide tickets and backstage passes to see big name artists. I have dealt with artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Heart, Foreigner, Dave Matthews Band, and Fall Out Boy. These guys have been awesome. They have opened their arms and hearts and have allowed wounded veterans to come in."

The recent iteration of Vetted was founded a little over a year ago. Vetted is a product of Rock 4 Recovery and takes the nonprofit's message on the road to military bases from coast to coast. Delacerda said Vetted's 2016 tour will take them along the West Coast. Tours are 100 percent supported by sponsors and individual donations. Wounded Warrior Project, for example, donated $5,000 to support the tour.

To make a contribution in support of Vetted and its mission, visit vettedband.com and click on the "donate" tab.

Read next close

News Front

Madigan doctor wins prestigious award

comments powered by Disqus