Jamie Trent, SW:S Veteran, volunteered at the Dec. 2014 retreat at Boulder Crest in Virginia. He is shown here with SW:S Exec. Director Mary Judd (l) and songwriter Mary Gauthier (r)


I have been affiliated with SongwritingWith:Soldiers for about 2 years now and have had the opportunity to be present both on the participant side and volunteer side. Believe it or not, both instances have provided and continue to provide a sense of healing much larger and much deeper than I have ever been able to put into words! Until now.

I have finally come to understand that healing comes in many forms and variations. One situation may be as simple as a verse in a song, while another situation may be far different than that, but equally profound.

Since serving in the military, I have always been asked one question, WHY? Why did this happen? What did I do to deserve this? Why am I still alive? I think you get the point and maybe some of you have even asked yourselves similar questions at one time during your life. August 24th, 2013, was the day that it all changed for me. That was the day that I was able to throw all those questions out the window, come to terms with my past, live for the moment, and embrace the challenges and opportunities that I may face in the future. I have never been a person that believed too much in coincidence; with that thought in mind, I truly believe that I was meant to find Songwriting With:Soldiers, or they were meant to find me.

Many of my friends ask me, “How did you find such peace and healing when writing about some of the darkest days of your life?” For me, it’s about bringing those dark days to the surface and acknowledging those emotions and memories. I am no Psychologist and don’t claim to have any answers, so my next statement is just what I have come to grips with during my participation at the SWS retreat. I realized that just because I have come to grips with my past, as traumatic as it may be, doesn’t mean that I am discarding those memories and the people in them. For the longest time, I almost felt guilty for moving on. I truly believe the retreat and the songs provided me with courage to finally move on.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and please continue to spread the word about this amazing organization. In my humble opinion, word of mouth is more powerful than any social media out there.

Be well,


SW:S NOTE — You can hear Jamie’s songs from the August 2013 retreat here. They are #6 and #13. Thank you, Jamie, for All you have done for us and so many others.