A Band of Brothers; Meet the Real Guitar Heroes, War Veterans Making Music

Article excerpt

Byline: Marc Horne

THEIR lives were changed for ever while they served their country, but now music is helping them on the road to recovery.

Soldiers who suffered serious injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq are being taught to play at the UK's first purpose-built military rehabilitation centre in Edinburgh. But instead of traditional military tunes, the soldiers are belting out power chords and heavy metal guitar riffs.

The pilot scheme has seen the Army's Personnel Recovery Centre (PRC) echo to the sound of hard rock anthems by AC/ DC, Guns 'N' Roses, Black Sabbath and Bon Jovi.

The 12-bed PRC, a joint venture between Help For Heroes, the Royal British Legion, the Ministry of Defence and Scots veterans' charity Erskine, has supported 60 servicemen and women since opening in 2009.

It lets residents and day visitors build up physical and mental strength so they can return to their regiment or civilian life.

The Help for Guitar Heroes Club has transformed the spirits of a number of the centre's residents.

Rifleman Dan Wildman is an enthusiastic member of the rock guitar class, despite having only limited use of one hand.

The 21-year-old suffered serious injuries after being shot in an apparent 'friendly fire' incident involving an US Apache helicopter while serving with the Edinburgh-based 3 Rifles in Afghanistan a year ago. …