Head to premierguitar.com to see videos
from our Diamond tour and an extended
interview with Blankenship and Diamant
about their partnership.
Operation Happy Note: Providing
Guitars to Service Men and
This month, we were lucky enough to
stumble upon an organization that brightens the spirits of members of the Armed
Forces on deployment and away from home
with musical instruments. Operation Happy
Note, based in Minnesota, has sent over
2700 instruments overseas since 2005.
Steve and Barb Baker, owners of Fergus
Music in Fergus Falls, MN, founded the
program when their son was deployed to
Iraq. After seeing the difference it made
when they sent guitars to their son and a
friend, the couple began raising funds to
send more. Steve Baker even created a
basic lesson program to teach soldiers who
don’t know how to play.
Operation Happy Note’s website includes a
place for service members or their families
to request instruments. They say they get
more than 350 requests each month. The
couple has filled requests for guitars, mandolins, banjos, violins, horns, harmonicas
and many other instruments.
The responses that Operation Happy Note
gets from recipients of the instruments
are inspiring. “We really appreciate your
Tim, recipient of a Guild from Operation Happy Note,
and an unidentified soldier.
support out here,” said a soldier named
Tim (pictured). “The Guild guitar is amazing! We have a great time getting together
and playing music; it’s the one thing that
keeps us sane out here. Thanks again, and
God bless you.”
The organization takes donations of cash,
instruments and shipping supplies. They
say they currently have a number of instruments in stock but are short on funds to
ship them overseas. To help out, visit
operationhappynote.com. – RD
for news from around
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