VOICES OF VETS WELCOMES YOU
The mission of Voices of Vets is to honor veterans through live performances showcasing tunes from the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and patriotic songs. Our goal is to visit every veteran home in the United States to show our appreciation for the great sacrifices they made for our country. We want the veterans to know that they are not forgotten.
COL Holmes- Vietnam
Kassie Sandacz- CEO
LTC Shehab- WWII
Despite cancellations and closures of many events, Voices of Vets continues to work to bring "live" music to our veterans via our
"Social Distancing Concerts" on Youtube.
Below please see an example of Voices of Vets social distancing videos, and use the subscribe form to receive emails of upcoming "Social Distancing" concerts.
ARMED FORCES MEDLEY
Excerpt from Social Distancing Concert
VOICES OF VETS CARRYING A TUNE OF JOY DESPITE CORONA
In 2008, I was challenged by my government teacher, Colonel William P. Holmes to visit Charlotte Hall Veterans Home and sing for the veterans. At eighteen, that wasn't exactly a venue for which I had a vision. A few years later, on July 4, 2016, I visited Charlotte Hall to sing for the veterans for what I thought would be a "one-time" performance. During the show, I experienced how much the music affected the veterans and how responsive they became while listening to a familiar tune. After the performance, the veterans were eager to talk with me and share their stories. Through conversation with the veterans, I learned that they do not have the opportunity to enjoy "live" performances which feature their favorite songs from earlier years. The veterans were appreciative, kind, and thanked me. I couldn't believe it. These were the people that sacrificed so much for the freedom that I enjoy and they were thanking me. This was the beginning of many more trips to Charlotte Hall. which led to other veteran homes, and finally the launch of Voices of Vets, Inc. in December, 2016. In an effort to put on a top-notch show, we provide professional musicians who are talented, educated, and have a heart for the veterans.
Music is rapidly becoming an integral part of helping to improve the quality of life for many elderly and dementia patients. Before the show starts, I watch as the residents are wheeled into the room, and many are unresponsive; however, once the music starts - IT IS MAGICAL! The residents lift their heads, tap their feet, and even sing along. One song in particular, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" is always a favorite as I am able to interact with the residents by handing them flowers and offering to let them sing in the microphone. Some residents harmonize with me and others sing along as they remember the lyrics. Many veterans have stories they start to remember during, and after the performances, so we always stay to visit and spend time talking with them.
These small events have brought me new insight into the power that music has on people. Being able to visit and to spend time with these great men and women has opened my eyes to how much music can touch and bring excitement back to them. I think about these great men and women who have served our country well, and now spend their last days waiting for music to echo in the halls so that once again they can find enjoyment and happiness through the magic of the music and lyrics. The greatest generation will not be around much longer; therefore, it is important to bring back the music that once helped get these men and women through the wars. It is a privilege to bring live performances to the veterans and to impact their quality of life during these special concerts tailored specifically for them.
-Kassandra Sandacz, CEO
VOICES OF VETS AT A GLANCE
Located in the Baltimore-Washington area, Voices of Vets is a
501(c)(3) non-profit performing group. Our goal is to perform in every veteran home in the United States. We also perform at other related veterans' events.
For us, it is not only about the performance, but also our interaction with the veterans. Specifically, in veteran homes, we provide small gifts for each veteran (flags, fans, leis, flowers, etc.). We try not to leave a venue until we have had a conversation or made a connection with every veteran in attendance. The change in behavior and attitude is evident throughout the show: veterans enter the room many asleep, not able to focus, and uninterested, but as they hear our voices and the music, the veterans have a positive and excited response. They open their eyes, tap their feet, and are able to sing the words to these familiar tunes. Nurses and staff frequently mention specific veterans and their remarkable improvement throughout the hour-long show as the music impacts their quality of life.
VOICES OF VETS "SOCIAL DISTANCING CONCERTS"
Charlotte Hall Veterans Home
Voices of Vets-Social Distancing Concert
Robert H. Jenkins, Jr. Veterans Domiciliary
Tennessee State Veterans' Home in Murfreesboro:
"Our resident on that unit had not been eating or drinking and was sleeping most of the time during meal times and had been like this for about a week or so. Once he heard your voices and the music, he perked up quite a bit. He enjoyed a milkshake and ate a good bit of his lunch that day during the performance. He had his eyes open and would smile and laugh with the staff. You could tell he was enjoying what he was hearing.
As we discussed after the main performance, music is one of the last thing to go with dementia patients-more specifically, musical aptitude and appreciation. Music can evoke emotions with the individuals and in turn assist in memory recall. Many patients can remember and sing songs long after losing the ability to remember other things."
Rebecca Raby, Actvities' Assistant Director
Robert H. Jenkins, Jr. Veterans Domiciliary in Lake City, Florida
"Voices of Vets were AWESOME!!!
You wouldn’t believe how happy our guys and gals were to have such a wonderful performance in their honor. Kassie and crew are such a talented group of young people. So many of our veterans were able to sing along with the songs and they spent a wonderful time visiting with the musicians after the performance. Everyone is still talking about the great performance-even the next day. I have included a signed “thank you” certificate from some our veterans to show how much they appreciated the show.
Thank you so very much for including us and please tell the crew how much we loved them being here for us."
-Ed DaSilva, Therapy Aide Supervisor/Activity Director
Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home, Land O'Lakes, FL
"These young men and women were awesome. We brought close to 50 residents to see them. Their voices and the music they played were beyond beautiful. Our residents laughed, cried, sang, and clapped their hands. The girls danced with them and gave the flags and flowers. It was a 100% positive experience for the residents, family and staff."
-Joanne M. Phillips, Activities Assistant Director
COLONEL WILLIAM HOLMES MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Colonel William Holmes, a retired Army officer, delighted in his opportunities to interact with Cornerstone
students over several decades, teaching them history and civics. His passing in 2019 left a hole in our
community. To honor his memory, Voices of Vets, an organization he helped to create, has established a
memorial scholarship of $300 for a Cornerstone student who best captures Colonel Holmes’ dedication to
veterans of the armed services: the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard.
TRIBUTE TO COL HOLMES
VOV BOARD MEMBERS
Kassandra Sandacz, CEO
Mr. Joseph Lloyd, Vice Chairman (Vietnam Veteran)
Ms. Jackie Daley
Brig. Gen. Anne B. Gunter
Lt Col Sheldon Goldberg (retired Air Force)
LTC Ruth Hamilton (retired Army)
Mrs LeAnn McCreedy
COL McCreedy (retired Army)
COL Bert Rice (retired Army)
LTC Alfred Shehab (retired Army)
Commander Hooper, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)
SCPO Tyler Murray
MEET THE MUSICIANS
SPONSOR A SHOW
Voices of Vets, Inc. began on July 4th, 2016. Being such a young group, we are humbled by the amazing support and sponsorship we have received since our start. In order to keep the momentum of our movement going, we are currently looking for sponsors and donations from anyone willing to give a helping hand. If you are able to help our cause, your donations would be greatly appreciated. It is through your help that we are able to travel to veterans homes and provide music and entertainment to those who need it most.
18th & 21st
Mechanical Engineering & Construction Corp.