John Mayer Starts a Foundation to Help Support Veterans

The 'New Light' and 'Gravity' singer and entertainer says it was a visit to wounded soldiers that inspired him to get involved

Musician John Mayer announced Friday he is starting The Heart and Armor Foundation, an organization focusing on helping veterans suffering from PTSD.

It’s also focused on addressing the growing needs of female veterans.

The “New Light” singer has been working on his organization since 2012.

Mayer said in an interview with the Associated Press that he’s been working with veterans, scientists and clinicians over the years to make sure his foundation addresses the needs of veterans in the best way possible.

“We’re going to the public with things like published research papers and having raised enough money to really build some pilot programs. We have some really great data and … we want it to be working first so that a lot of the questions were answered before we brought things to people by way of awareness,” said Mayer.

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“I think it just makes it that much more compelling and much more concise to bring it to people with the message being, ‘Hey, this is not taking something that is zero to try to get it to five. This is something that is at 50 and we want to get it to 100.'”

Mayer’s motivation for starting his foundation came from visiting wounded veterans at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in 2008. Mayer’s grandfather was also a World War II veteran.

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“Now this was with a friend of mine, so I was just plus one and nobody knew that the musician-guy was going. That gave me a really fluorescent look at what was going on in the barracks. It wasn’t like they rolled out the red carpet for a celebrity, it was kind of a normal day,” said Mayer. “It was going to the wounded warrior barracks that I think changed me forever. It immediately showed me that my notion of what I think (are) the wounds of war are completely wrong. The way in which I was proven wrong was so compelling and fascinating and nuanced.”

“It was going to the wounded warrior barracks that I think changed me forever.”

The Heart and Armor Foundation has already released 10 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

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The publications include an exercise-based intervention to help with PTSD and a screening tool for nutrition in female veterans.

“I’ve been in meeting after meeting where people ask, ‘Where did you get the money to do this exercise study? Where’d you get the money?’ I’m like, ‘Well I’ll tell you.’ People are excited about it before I tell them John Mayer did it,” Gerard Choucroun, executive director of The Heart and Armor Foundation, said about the studies.

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