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MSJC Faculty and Staff Military Veterans Build Guitars as Part of 'Guitar Heroes Operation Twang'


Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) faculty, administrators and classified professionals built guitars Oct. 22-24 as part of "Guitar Heroes Operation Twang" at the college's Menifee Valley Campus.

The 10 military veterans built custom guitars based on their own designs and themes Friday through Sunday under a tent on the campus.

The build was part of Hemet-based nonprofit American Patriot Music Project's Veterans Guitar Project. For several years, the group has used the program to provide therapeutic support and music opportunities for veterans and first responders. They hold about two guitar workshops each year.

The three-day build trained the MSJC faculty and classified professionals so they can lead additional builds with student-veterans at MSJC. The college features Veterans Resource Centers that help support the college's military and veteran students and their families.

"We hope to create Veterans Guitar Workshops at any college that has a Veterans Resource Center," said Tony Villegas, the executive director of the American Patriot Music Project, which also features the Temecula area-based American Patriot Band.

The group partners with the National Science Foundation STEM Guitar Building Project.

Mt. San Jacinto College serves about 27,000 students annually in a district covering 1,700 square miles from the San Gorgonio Pass to Temecula, with campuses in San Jacinto, Menifee, Banning and Temecula.

group photo with guitars

counselor Hyman Alvia

Jeremy Sparks from the MakerSpace

Martina Moncada from the Veterans Resource Center