THE HEALING BOX PROJECT
Bringing healing to soldiers, one guitar at a time.
Dave and CJ Dunklee are there for our Veterans
The thing is, there are but a handful of people in this world going about that business. There are people who share music with them, and the people – God bless them – who write checks to support them, but soon disappear and go on about their lives. And then, there are people like Dave and CJ, who introduces music through guitar performance that will last a lifetime for our true heroes.
He's a talented guy who puts in the hard work, the long hours, the endless miles on the road to make a badly wounded warrior's life still worth living. More importantly, he does it all for free. And he's trying hard, and sometimes desperately, to shake off somebody thinking the only reason he is doing it is for the publicity. No, he simply knows it is the right thing to do at this moment in his life.
His services don't end when soldiers are ready to check out of the hospital. His talent for teaching the joy of music with a guitar is a life-long gift.
Certainly this a noble, worthy and much-needed cause. And heaven knows there is nothing too good or too much that can be done for a wounded U.S. warrior.
Dave and his wife "CJ" decided the name "Healing Box Project" could be used for non-profit registration. "Healing Box" fit coming from a relationship with relic guitars made from box crates or pieces of wooden boxes modified with a pole neck to which strings were attached. The healing begins with the first strum. Thus, "The Healing Box Project®" was born.
"The Healing Box Project®" is raising money to purchase guitars and supplies for soldiers to use. At the same time, Dave and CJ asks people to donate guitars that may be "kicking around the house" or in need of simple repair for the soldiers to play and, again, keep as their own.... a "gift" of heartfelt thanks for their service to our country and us. The real gift is seeing the faces of soldiers making music.
"I'd like to be able to say ....we have collected guitars and donations to provide good guitars, that will last a lifetime, for every soldier that takes advantage of my guitar lessons", Dave said with a determined brow and a smile.
There is a story on the internet of a Marine named Ben who fell from a helicopter, landed on his head and was paralyzed for months. He is now playing guitar, he said, and has made his first CD.
"It helps them with their neurology, brain skills and takes the guitarist away from the stress of coping with a life-changing injury . It helps these soldiers, who are very active by nature, to set goals for themselves and have some fun, too."
It is "exercise for the brain," he says. But music and guitar playing go far beyond just that. Finger manipulative abilities, improved attitude, rhythm like a heartbeat and satisfaction from successfully making music only cover the neurological benefit in general terms. Playing music maximizes their recovery.
"I am just trying to help them put their lives back together that have been altered forever," he said.
"They are our nation's heroes," he said. "I don't see them as wounded or as anything less than a hero. They inspire me because they are determined to overcome adversity."
Dave knows first-hand after having his skull crushed in an accident 54 years ago resulting in complete loss of sight in one eye.
Dave and CJ drive from Lake of the Ozarks to Columbia every week where they spend an entire day meeting with soldiers. His wife "CJ" supports the project with fund-raising on the phone and gives Dave encouragement through understanding how much this means to the soldiers. Together they travel over 600 miles every month to make sure this project is a continued reality.
'Stand Up for Heroes' and donate to this project. You can help. If you'd like to speak with Dave and CJ please call 573-372-1234.