This might sound like a strange title, but I've been contemplating putting this out there to see if there are any others like me. As an OIF vet I picked up the trumpet as something to challenge me as I struggled to fit back into normal life. No serious PTSD or anything like that (though we all have at least a touch), but for four years after returning from Iraq not a day went by when I didn't obsess over friends lost while I was there. I had played the trumpet in elementary school, but became a percussionist in high school and never touched a trumpet again. One day I got the bright idea that I needed a change in my life and a year and a half ago I bought my first horn, a Bach 184 cornet. Since then I've added an Olds Recording trumpet and just last week, the Roger Ingram 1600i from Jupiter.
I play at least an hour every day, and one day about six months into my new hobby (obsession) I played until my cheeks were screaming at me and my lips would no longer function! It was glorious! And suddenly it hot me, a whole day had gone by and I had not even thought about Iraq once. As the days, weeks, and months went by I had long periods where Iraq and all I had experienced there didn't even cross my mind. Now, Iraq will always be part of who I am, and I will never forget the good friends I lost there, but playing the trumpet has given me new life. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I sometimes wonder if there are enough of us out there to figure out how to introduce this awesome hobby to others who are struggling? No professional teachers, necessarily, but vets teaching other vets how to make beautiful music (even if it doesn't sound all that beautiful to the trained ear!).