Rockin’ for the Troops 2013 Epilogue

The US Veterans Arts Program


Bryan Escobedo


Rockin for the Troops 2013 has come and gone and all in all it was a tremendous success. It was a beautiful day, there was plenty of great food and music and the crowds came out to see some great acts.


The Shave the Nation both was in full swing giving red, white and blue Mohawks to all who dared. Uncle Sam and the Shave the Nation guitar returned this year and were proudly on display for all to see and enter to win.


The Rockin’ raffle was a big draw like it is every year. We had a custom Bushwhacker Camouflage Guitar package in the raffle this year to compete with a 2013 Harley for the Grand Prize. Our Bushwhacker Guitar was standing proudly in the display booth at the Rockin’ Raffle.


The highlight of this year’s show for me was getting to meet Bryan Escobedo, a Veteran who was wounded in Iraq. Bryan suffered a severe head trauma during combat and was almost fatally wounded. His head injury was so severe that he was told he wouldn’t be able to focus or remember for more than 10 seconds.


Bryan told me that for some time after his injury he just couldn’t focus or hold a train of thought  until one day when he heard some music playing on a radio and He immediately remembered the music that he heard when he was younger . The music allowed him to not only remember things but also helped him focus his attention as the music flowed from one note to the next. He said that hearing music again after his injury was like being “reborn”. He started to play the guitar and underwent lengthy cognitive therapy to help restore his memory. He is now a senior in college earning a degree in communications.  He is married and has a new baby son on the way.


I met Bryan through the US Veterans Arts Program which is an organization dedicated to helping vets like Bryan find the means to express themselves through art. Pasquale Custom Guitars donated a Custom HTM2000 Guitar Package to the USVAP and I was honored to present it to Bryan on the stage at Rockin’ for the Troops 2013.


Bryan was one happy guy. We sat for a while after the presentation in a small trailer just jamming and talking about music. Two  musicians from different parts of the country who had just met for the first time 20 minutes earlier sat and discussed music, bands, amps and everything in between. We just hung out and jammed. It was truly an awesome moment in time I am honored to be a part of it. 


God Bless America

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