Jan 22, 2012 7:52 PM by Ophelia Young
For many returning soldiers, the longest wounds to heal can't be seen. This weekend, LifeQuest asked veterans to turn those wounds into songs.
Staff Sergeant Kenneth Sargent is one of these veterans. He returned from Iraq with severe spine damage. "They told me I would never walk again," said Sargent.
Sargent is walking today. But there was one wound left wide open. "The depression, the PTSD, and I had nobody to talk to, so I shut myself down," said Sargent.
For the first time since Sargent's return from Iraq, that wound is finally healing. "The thing that's been bottled up inside of me that I hold in because I can't talk to people about it, I was able to write it down and just slide the paper across the table to somebody and they read it out loud," Sargent said.
LifeQuest's music camp aims to rehabilitate wounded warriors. These veterans tell their stories to singers and songwriters for musical inspiration. Together they recorded about 20 songs this weekend. "I lost it two or three times just in the process of writing it cus he's so honest," said musician Radney Foster.
One of Sargent's songs is titled, "It is what it is." "My injury--it is what it is. I have to move forward. I have to continue to move on. I have a job to do. I have ten more years in the military I have to do.
"To hear what I'm thinking coming out of their voice with music was amazing," said Sargent.
Sargent knows this song will help America understand our soldiers beyond just what we read in the headlines. He also knows his last wound is now healing, and he'll be ready to move on soon. "This, I think has built my morale even higher, to go to work and be even stronger and be a different person," said Sargent.
Staff Sergeant Kenneth Sargent plans to return to service this March.
The entire album, which includes Sargent's songs, will be available to download after production.
For now, you can find songs from last year's camp. Search "Faces of Freedom" on iTunes.