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Pickin’ in the Park Saturday

Good music for a good cause will be taking place Saturday at Charlie Daniels Park.
Pickin’ in the Park, an event to raise funding for Operation Song, will start at 2 p.m. with gates opening at 1 p.m. This Nashville based non-profit, was begun in 2012 by Bob Regan as a forum for Armed forces members to work through their experiences with song. The program matches national songwriters with military members and allows those members to talk through experiences and emotions they may have connected to the time they spent serving their country. These stories can then be turned into a song by the writers.
Terry Gould, an organizer for the event, is one of the individuals who completed the program. Gould was in the Navy from 1968-1971.He found himself in a military hospital during that time with many other soldiers that were injured in the Vietnam Conflict. Gould stated that it was during his eight weeks sessions with Operation Song that he began to work through some of the feelings he had from that time.
“I had not told anyone about my experience.” Gould said.
He said he had a sense of guilt all those years from watching his brothers in arms come back from combat while he himself had not see battle.
“I felt so guilty. I kept thinking that I should have been there,” Gould said.
Gould, like many others, benefitted from time sharing his experience and those feelings with someone and it was healing to have that songwriter put eloquently, what he had felt for so long.
“When a song has a little part of your story, you start to feel less guilt,” Gould said
A group living in the area began meeting independently after their time with Operation Song. The group consists of eight Vietnam Veterans and 15 Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans. With about half the group consisting of women. They wanted to give back to the organization that gave so much to them and so organized this event.
There will be food trucks, and several song writers to include American Idol Star, Janell Arthur and Grammy nominee Jamie Floyd. The day will be family friendly and include both a live and silent auction. The cost is $20 per person with children 12-and-under free.