A group of veterans built guitars at a workshop hosted by Edmonds Community College in November in recognition of Veterans Day. (Photo by James Huntington Cordero)

A group of veterans built guitars at a workshop hosted by Edmonds Community College in November in recognition of Veterans Day. (Photo by James Huntington Cordero)

Veterans build their own guitars from scratch

The grant-funded program at Edmonds Community College also aimed to build confidence and job skills.

Edmonds Community College held a three-day guitar-making workshop over Veterans Day weekend.

A group of 13 local veterans built electric guitars from scratch. The program was informally dubbed “Operation Twang” by Chris Szarek, executive director of the college’s Veterans Resource Center.

The National STEM Guitar Project funded the program through a National Science Foundation grant. Workshop partners also included the Phoenix Patriot Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.

During the workshop, veterans sanded, sculpted and swirled paint onto their guitars. They used a laser cutter to etch their own images. By the end, they each had a playable guitar.

The program had other aims, too, such as building confidence and preparing veterans for the job market.

And they’re not done.

In December, the veterans will return to put the finishing touches on their guitars and learn some basic chords.

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