Our Music in the Wards program for veterans staying in Ward 17 plays an important role on their road to recovery from their silent injury of Post-Traumatic Stress.
Providing this healing voice for veterans is entertainer Linda McCarthy who visits the Repatriation General Hospital’s Ward 17 every fortnight and sings for over two hours. From a proud defence family and married to a veteran, for Linda it’s an honour to give back to those that put themselves in harm’s way to protect us.
“I come from a defence family, my dad was part of the Royal Engineers in the Middle East, and in my husband Scott’s family there is four generations of defence. Because of this I have such a connection to people in the defence force, the camaraderie and mateship they share with each other is so special,” Linda said.
“I feel this connection is something different I can bring to my time in Ward 17 that’s not just about the music, I can relate to these veteran’s life experiences and I’ve got some comprehension from a wife of a servicemen’s point of view.”
Linda explains how she doesn’t look at herself as an entertainer for these veterans, but rather a visitor who is someone different to the doctors and nurses, a break from whatever they may be going through at the time.
“I change the repertoire all te time, at the moment I’m doing a bit of 70s and 80s, some country and a few modern songs.
“I truly believe music is a therapy, I see so many emotional connections with the songs I sing. These veterans really do just come out of themselves, some may not talk but you notice their body movement, that they’re listening and enjoying it.”
The Road Home’s Music in the Wards program with entertainers like Linda, will continue to support veterans living with Post-Traumatic Stress and will move to the Jamie Larcombe Centre later in the year.