MADISON, Wis. - The lyrics tell a very raw and real story of the toll war takes on the warrior. In the words, you feel the pain that Jason Moon still feels more than a decade after leaving Iraq.
When he sings the lyrics, "Trying to find my way home," you can see in his face the images of war that still haunt him. But when he talks about the thousands of veterans who have found comfort in his music, you see a smile and momentary release from the PTSD that he deals with.
"It helps me deal with it and it helps me to help others," Moon said.
Deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moon took his six-string acoustic guitar with him. He played songs for soldiers and Iraqi children. While the music was a temporary respite from combat it couldn't insulate him from the realities of war.
"I came home and I just couldn't leave the war behind," Moon said. "I had PTSD. I didn't know it at the time and it just got worse and worse and worse. In the spring of 2008, I had enough and figured everybody would be better off if I wasn't here and I tried to kill myself."
When he survived, he turned back to the music he found comfort in for so many years. He started writing songs about his experiences as a veteran and the challenges that came with coming home. When he sang the song, "Trying to find my way home" to some veterans they could relate to the lyrics. To help others he created Warriors Songs and started recording albums that tell a soldier's story.
"I started getting more letters and phone calls from veterans saying that the music was helping them," Moon said. "I started doing that in 2010 and now we have given out 8,000 copies of the CD."
On Nov. 5 he released another album that was five years in the making. Entitled "If you have to ask...Warrior Songs Vol. 1" it represents the stories of 14 veterans. While they are stories ranging from Korea to Vietnam and Iraq to Afghanistan there is a common thread.
"The common themes are they have the same hope and pain and PTSD," Moon said.
Moon's music is available on iTunes.
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