The first annual Music is the Medicine benefit to aid veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will be held Saturday, September 18 at 7pm at the Beachcomber Bar in Seaside Heights, NJ.
Three local brothers, Daniel, Brent, and Connor Effenberger, decided to hold a fundraiser to do just that. Daniel, a social worker, and Connor, a student at OCC, play in the Asbury Park based Indie Folk Rock band The Amboys. The brothers envisioned a musical festival, the proceeds of which would go to a program or programs supporting “the troops” in some way.
None of the brothers have served in the military, nor do they have any close family members who are veterans. According to Daniel, a social worker, “Our main inspiration was the fact that our good friend JD was overseas fighting for our country.”
James Douglas, or “JD,” Wilson is currently an armorer for the 87th Security Forces Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. According to Wilson, who served two tours in the Middle East during the Global War on Terror, the Effenberger brothers “approached me about the idea when I was deployed this last time out. The idea was simple: get a bunch of bands together to raise some money to support the troops. But ‘support the troops’ is so broad… we decided to find one particular aspect of war and see how we could help. Connor was the one who brought up PTSD and we all agreed instantly.”
According to Connor, “We never wanted this to be a pro or anti-war thing. We wanted this to be pro-people… If you had a friend or loved one come back wounded, be it mentally or physically, you’d expect they receive proper treatment. Because once the mind is lost, pretty much all is lost.”
“We wanted to do this concert a year ago but just didn’t have the means,” Daniel said. “All things have sort of come together and we just wanted to exhaust our resources to do our part and help out a good cause.”
The foursome’s excitement and enthusiasm allowed them to assemble a willing cast of volunteers. Wilson’s 87th Security Forces friends on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, for example, volunteered to man the donation booth at the concert in uniform.
The group hopes to make Music is the Medicine an annual event.
The show will start at 7pm with bands and guest speakers throughout the night. Musical guests will include The Amboys, Mad Feather Group, Matt Wade, and Threats to Chesney.
Admission costs $10. There will be additional opportunities to make donations during the course of the night. All proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information, contact MusicIsTheMedicineBenefit@gmail.com.
If you or someone you love needs treatment, find a program that’s right for you at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/va-ptsd-treatment-programs.asp.
Note: This blog was adapted from an article by Command Historian, Melissa Ziobro. All photos used with permission.