Dan Bewley, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The man behind the gift of music for our Oklahoma soldiers is back in town. Todd Cooke flew in from California Tuesday. He donated guitars to members of the 45th Infantry.
When he learned that members of the 45th Infantry in Afghanistan were looking to play guitar, he knew exactly what he had to do.
Todd Cooke is the man behind Guitar House, a Tulsa music store and guitar specialty shop. One of his customers is also a member of the 45th Infantry who is deployed in Afghanistan.
"I can't imagine doing the job that they're doing. I think that we should be able to do anything we can to help those guys out," Cooke said.
Cooke's idea was to donate guitars, tuners, bags, picks, and strings.
"We sent six of these and then we sent two of a smaller size, an orchestra size that would fit the smaller soldiers and the women," he said.
The pictures from Afghanistan show the joy when the Oklahoma gift arrived. Some of the soldiers already know how to play, others are taking lessons. No matter the reason, the men and women say playing the guitars helps take their mind off the stress of being in a warzone.'
"I think it brings them a little piece of home, also gives them a little peace that they're able to forget about what they're doing right now...just relax for a change," Cooke said.
It wasn't just Todd and Guitar House who made donations, the company that makes the guitars, Bedell, also donated cases for the soldiers and A Glorious Church in Collinsville paid for shipping and handling to the tune of $300.
"I just think it's the right thing to do. Why not give them some joy? They're away from their families and everything else that they know so if that can bring any joy to them that will be great," Cooke said.
Cooke isn't worried about the cost, he says it's worth it just to know that those putting their lives on the line are able to relax at times, all while pickin' and grinnin'.
"It means a lot, I'm glad that I was able to do something for them because I can't imagine doing the job that they're doing," he said.
The guitars will stay in Afghanistan even after our men and women come home. Cooke hopes other soldiers are able to use them in the future.