On the last Sunday of every month, my friend, fellow musician Frets Nirvana, does something pretty incredible: he puts together a lineup of other live performers and hosts a live music event to benefit a group of people who should -- in any decent kind of world -- not require help. Those people are US military veterans who have been severely injured while serving their country, and the help they need is a place to live.
The organization for whom Frets has devoted these efforts is called Homes for Our Troops, and it's a 501(c)(3) non-profit that builds mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured veterans from the post-9/11 era. Many people are under the misconception that disabled military personnel are fully taken care of by the government who sent them to war in the first place. Not true. Many severely injured veterans are barely able to get the medical care they require, if that. Without being able to work, and with many of them coming from non-affluent backgrounds even before they joined the military, there's certainly no way that a high percentage of them have the possibility of living in a home that's designed to offer a comfortable existence that is designed for them to live as comfortably as possible with their disabilities.
So that's what HfOT does, and I've spent a number of years answering Frets' call when he asks me to take part in these fundraising benefits that are held at Veterans Isle in Second Life. For a pacifist like me, the obvious first choice is to eliminate war entirely and remove the reason that these men and women are injured (and killed) in the first place. I'm also a realist and know that there will be no end to war any time soon. So meanwhile, it's nice to be able to be involved in activities that let me chip in, even in a small way.
One of the greatest aspects of Second Life is its residents' incredible generosity toward a variety of good causes. Photo by Kat.
We had a good crowd last night at Veterans Isle during my show, and I saw they gave to the cause with extraordinary generosity. Over L$40,000 was raised in the hour I played, and there were another three artists on the bill after me, so I already know that the evening was a successful endeavor. Many of the attendees in the audience were vets themselves, and it's great to see those people continuing to make contributions and offer support for their fellow veterans.
Veterans Isle HfOT set list...
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love & Understanding (Elvis Costello)
Disarmed (They Stole My Crayon)
Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd)
Something Else (Zak Claxton)
Don’t Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young)
Mad World (Tears for Fears)
Bag of Nothing (They Stole My Crayon)
Everything Counts (Depeche Mode)
Here I Land (Nicholas Stevenson)
Pretty Pimpin (Kurt Vile)
Our House (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Pigs On the Wing Parts 1 & 2 (Pink Floyd)
Huge thanks to all who came out to the show and contributed generously!