With Singer Mary Gauthier, Veterans Find a New Voice

Mary Gauthier 1800
In this Feb. 8, 2018 photo, musician Mary Gauthier poses for a portrait in New York to promote her veteran inspired record "Rifles & Rosary Beads." (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP) -- The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — There's a date on Josh Geartz's calendar that the former U.S. Army sergeant has been looking forward to for quite some time.

Aug. 10 will mark Geartz's fourth retreat with the nonprofit SongwritingWith:Soldiers — his first session there in 2015 saved his life. Literally.

After attempting suicide twice and planning a third attempt, Geartz attended the program geared to military veterans, where he met folk singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier. He credits her with changing and saving his life.

Geartz's experience has been repeated by other veterans, who have found peace and newfound hope thanks to the program and Gauthier, whose album, "Rifles & Rosary Beads," features songs co-written with veterans and their family members from sessions with the nonprofit.

Gauthier says working with the "soldiers have taught me so much."

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Veterans Music Entertainment