Just days before the start of a new year, a few Coachella Valley Veterans received a gift that will keep on giving.
Graduates of the Mission Veteran music program gathered Tuesday evening at the Rancho Mirage amphitheater to celebrate a personal milestone.
The group, comprised of Marine and Air Force veterans, completed an 8-week music program. They learned the basics of playing an instrument and a few tunes.
At the ceremony they received a certificate, a free guitar, and earned a challenge coin.
Cpl Robert Gary is grateful for everyone involved in the program and the camaraderie of it all.
“If you have any issues about being around other vets the music is going to draw you in,” says Gray.
Robert Puentes Ret. USMC says the program has been active for the past 4 years with close to 50 veterans completing the training.
The nonprofit serves veterans with the help of donors and grants. Puentes says $200 pays for the class, instructional materials and the guitar the veterans take home upon completion.