Veteran’s music therapy program taking off

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Earlier this year, we introduced you to Ron Duszak. The Cumberland County man was dismissed from the Navy for drug use many years ago. He spent a lot of time battling and overcoming his demons. He was able to do that with his love of music.

Now 22 years sober, he’s making it his mission to help other veterans and recovering addicts.

We also showed you the basement of Just For Today Recovery Center in Lemoyne. At the time, there wasn’t much to see. Duszak’s goal has been to transform it into space where he and others can come together and jam. To do that, Duszak needed instruments.

In August, Duszak helped organize an all-day concert and fundraiser right on the ballfield on City Island in Harrisburg. The Finding Freedom Festival was a big success. They even surpassed their goal. With that money, Duszak was able to purchase instruments. The community also stepped up and donated instruments. There are now guitars and a new drum set. It’s enough to begin the music sessions.

“The idea and the concept is if it can fill a void for someone, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, if we give them an hour apiece of just hanging out, but it may also open up someone to really be honest, and to struggle alone is a really tough place to be,” Duszak said.

“Giving them a chance to use musical instruments, which is a proven method of great therapy for people, for them to come in and be able to have that opportunity is going to be able to help a lot of people,” recovery specialist Jamie Fouch said.

Duszak is holding a couple of sessions a week. He hopes to build on this and even branch out to bring this form of music therapy to other locations.

There will be another Finding Freedom Music Festival next year to raise money to keep alive his dream of helping others.

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