Cactus Theater hosting benefit concert for Veterans center

The Lubbock Band Blackwater Draw will headline the benefit concert for the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Cactus Theater will hold a benefit concert for The National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center in Angel Fire, New Mexico on Friday evening at 7 p.m.

All of the proceeds from the concert will go directly to the center, which focuses on Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) treatment and suicide prevention.

Mark Podell is the Retreat Program Director at the center in New Mexico; here’s how he explained their mission:

“Freedom isn’t free. Someone paid for it. And the reality is, part of our obligation as a culture and as a society is to repay that by reintegrating them properly back into society,” Podell said.

The program director said its counselors put the veterans on their shoulders.

“I think the sad reality is, these are folks that literally at one point in their lives have raised their right hand and said, I’ll give my life for yours,” Podell said. “And so for them to come back, feel like they’re alone and isolated, unworthy of asking for help is absolutely shameful.”

There are about 22,000 veterans in Lubbock. Podell said current trends show 30% of them suffer from PTSD.

The band Blackwater Draw is made up of siblings, Garrett and Tiffany Nelson, and Berklee Timmons. The group said they are grateful to be headlining this concert.

“On average 20 veterans die daily from suicide because of post-traumatic stress. And there’s drug addiction and insomnia that also follows,” Garrett said.

“And we know that, that wouldn’t be possible without our military fighting for freedom,” Timmons said.

The band expressed gratitude for all service members, but especially the ones in their family.

“My grandfather, Jim Nelson, he was in Vietnam. He was a Wing Commander in Florida. And then my great grandfather also fought in World War One,” Tiffany said. “And so we want to help our veterans as best we can, who are dealing with post-traumatic stress, because they fight for our country, to keep us safe and to keep us free.”

They hope this concert can shed light on what these service members go through, no matter what war they fought in. Mark Podell hopes it will also grab the community’s attention.

“So the question you have to ask as a community is, do you have adequate support for these folks that have already paid so much for you, right?” Podell said.

Tickets are $25 per seat for the concert, if you would like one, visit the link here. For information and resources about The Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, visit the website here.