“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”

          Leonard Bernstein

Operation Song’s Mission is to empower veterans, active duty military, and their families to tell their stories through the process of songwriting.

Our Vision is to become the premier songwriting organization serving the active duty military and veteran community, to expand our programs stateside and overseas, and to train others in our model.

Our History

Operation Song was founded in 2012. Nashville songwriter Bob Regan had the inspiration for the program in the 2000’s while performing on Armed Forces Entertainment Tours at military bases around the world. On those tours, Bob met many servicemen and women with very compelling stories and thought that pairing them with songwriters, natural story tellers, might create some very compelling music. He was also made aware of the large number of service related injuries, issues, and illnesses related to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that some service members were having challenging transitions back to “normal” life. The idea was that transforming their story into a song might help them process seemingly random and chaotic events and emotions of their service and give them some order, perspective, and validation.

The program started with weekly sessions at the VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN under the supervision of a music therapist. Groups of as many as 8 veterans would tell stories about their military service and professional songwriters would transform them into song. The format gradually evolved from writing group songs to focusing on the individual veterans or service members and their experiences.

Operation Song soon began sponsoring weekend retreats around the Southeast in Ft. Benning, GA, Chattanooga, TN, Little Rock, AR, Pensacola, FL, and as far away as New York City, NY. To date, Operation Song has written over 950 songs with veterans of WWII to those currently serving.

There has never been, nor will there ever be, a charge to any veteran or family member for our services. It is our honor to serve those who have served.

WHO WE ARE

Our Board of Directors includes veterans of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, professional songwriters, and others dedicated to serving the military.

Bob Regan
Bob ReganFounder & Board President
A Grammy and Dove Award-nominated songwriter with over 200 songs recorded by artists from Keith Urban to Roy Rogers, has garnered 11 ASCAP Most Performed awards. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Davis.
Heather McBee
Heather McBeeInterim Executive Director
Heather McBee is a Nashville-based business executive and music industry veteran. McBee has over 25 years of experience in leadership, fundraising, marketing, and operations in the entertainment industry, nonprofit sector, and entrepreneurial startups. Her previous adventure at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center as the VP of Operations empowered her to co-found Project Music, an incubator for music-tech entrepreneurs. Additionally, McBee led the development and success of Sony Music Nashville’s digital music business and served at Cumulus Media, launching America’s Morning Show in 30+ markets. Heather also serves on the board of Leadership Music and co-produces annual events benefiting the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund and Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

Mike Byer | Program Director

Operation Song Program Director, 1st Sergeant (Ret) Mike Byer, shares his story about his military service and how he became involved with Operation Song.

BOARD MEMBERS

Dennis Buchanan

Dennis served in the United States Army and is a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal which he earned while serving in combat in Vietnam. Dennis continued serving his country with a twenty-plus year career in law enforcement with the Mt. Juliet, Tennessee police department. He also currently serves as a Board Member for the Journey Home Project.

Mike Byer

Mike Byer is a retired Army 1SG, OIF/OEF Veteran, guitarist, and amateur songwriter.

John clement

John Clement is a 21-year Army Aviation Veteran during which time he was a Program Director, an instructor, an engineer, and a Maintenance Test Pilot. Upon retiring from the military, John served as the Fort Campbell Soldier Transition Program Coordina- tor and, since 2016, has been Field Director for United States Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Kevin Doherty

Kevin Doherty practices law in the area of insurance regulation and captive insurance. He serves as President of the Tennessee Captive Insurance Association, Inc. Mr. Doherty also practices music law and entertainment law and represents recording artists, songwriters, and record and music publishing companies in connection with music business agreements.

Ed Hardy

Following active duty, Ed served 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, attaining the rank of Major. Most recently, Ed served as the interim CEO of the Country Music Association (CMA). Ed retired from Scripps Networks Interactive in 2012 as President of Great American Country (GAC) TV Network and a member of the Scripps Networks Executive Committee. In addition to being on the Operation Song Board of Directors, Ed is a current board member of the CMA Foundation Board and current Advisory Council member of W.O. Smith Music School, past Chairman and current member of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. board and Chairman of their foundation board, Music City, Inc. He was a founding board member and Vice President of The Journey Home Project board.

Gina Jackson

Gina Jackson is an Air Force Veteran who has spent her entire career in the Public Relations field. Between her time in the Air Force and the State Department, she has worked in more than 15 countries. Gina currently serves as a Senior Spokesperson for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C.

Danielle Lauber

Danielle is currently a doctoral candidate at Middle Tennessee State University. Danielle is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist with over 13 years of experience working in healthcare and mental health settings, 8 of which were spent at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her master’s thesis looked at identifying the qualitative experience of Operation Song and her doctoral dissertation will expand on these results.

Bob Leonard

Bob Leonard is a U.S. Navy Desert Storm Veteran and a 20-year healthcare executive, clinician, and entrepre- neur. Bob served as Military Police in the U.S. Navy from 1987 to 1992. Bob’s skill set includes management, startups, strategy, marketing, and business develop- ment having worked for GE Medical Systems and several national and regional healthcare organizations during his career.

 

Cindy Morgan

Cindy Morgan is a contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter. Morgan’s 1992 debut album, Real Life, earned her six Dove Award nominations. Her follow-up, A Reason to Live, garnered her another Dove Award nomination. Overall she has earned 12 Dove Awards.

 

Debbie Radish-Respress

Debbie is an executive coach and business consultant with 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing and supply chain management industries. Her expertise includes global human resources strategy, M&A, talent acquisition, retention, and succession planning, policy and procedure compliance, organizational development, employee relations, and benefit plan design.

Jason Rose

With nearly 25 years’ experience in healthcare technology, Jason is a healthcare IT entrepreneur, focused on launching products that drive digital health innovation and value-based care outcomes. Jason is currently CEO of AdhereHealth, an innovative medication adherence technology company located in greater Nashville, TN.

Storme Warren

Storme Warren is an American television and radio broadcaster best known as the host of the Storme Warren morning show on Sirius XM’s channel, The Highway. Warren currently serves as brand ambassador for Wherever TV.

This is such an incredible thing… I literally feel like it has been therapeutic for me.  Please never stop doing what you do as I know it is helping so many individuals.

Crissie C. Gold Star Wife

I went to see my routine weekly psychologist on Tuesday and he said “Chris this is our 5th session and this is the most relaxed I’ve ever seen you.” “So again I say Thank You BROTHER ’cause you didn’t help me unlock that door we kicked that F*#@*$ open together!!!!!”

Chris, a veteran of Iraq, who helped pull down the statue of Saddam.

Abbey, my wife, described it best when she said the writing of the song was a game changer.

Chuck A, Iraq veteran