UPDATE: The first episode of Bands of Brothers is up!
The musicians have been chosen. The bands, formed.
And tonight at 9 p.m., Bands of Brothers — an online reality show created to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder — premiers at www.bandsofbrothers.org. A new show will be posted every Thursday.
As I wrote in July, the show follows 12 veterans as they form three bands in preparation for a Veterans Day benefit concert at World Cafe Live.
Among the band members are veterans Ericka Glenn, a singer, and Jerry Grantland, a drummer who plays with 58 Fury.
Glenn, 41, is a former Marine who served in the Persian Gulf War. Grantland, 28, was in the Army when he served in the Iraq War.
Glenn was 19-years-old when she was shipped to Saudi Arabia. Not long after she arrived, her base was bombed and she and her unit were forced to take cover in an underground ditch.
“I went in one person and came out another,” she said. “From that moment on I was different, I saw the world with brand new eyes.”
When Glenn got back home, she knew something was wrong. She felt unsettled. She struggled to keep a job. But it was years before she sought treatment for PTSD.
“I brushed it off,” she said. “I didn’t think it was that bad. I think that happens a lot with people in the military. We’re supposed to be strong, we’re supposed to be able to handle everything. So you don’t want to admit when maybe you need help, when war changes you to your core.”
It took years for Grantland to seek help too.
“I thought I could make it through,” he said. “I thought there were people who needed it more, who were more deserving until I stepped back one day and said it’s not normal for me to be feeling this way in this situation.”
Glenn and Grantland, who both work for the VA, are excited about playing music. But they said it was the opportunity to raise awareness about PTSD that drove their decision to join.
“I want people to go out and get help,” Glenn said. “I don’t want them to wait until they’re feeling the same kind of debilitating pain I felt.”
The show is filmed at the Cherry Hill School of Rock, where the musicians are coached by celebrity judges as they form bands, and bonds, with fellow musicians.
Glenn and Grantland said so far it’s been exciting to get to know their bandmates. No drama, no egos, they insisted.
Although Glenn did confide there’s at least one fellow musician she’s already good-naturedly nicknamed Mr. Bossy.
Watch tonight to see if that made the cut.