Performing Gives The Combat Wounded A New Lease On Life

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The healing power of music has empowered wounded veterans who came together on the world stage.

Marine Corporal Tim Donley found strength in song after losing both legs and the use of his right arm to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported.

“I can’t salute and I can’t shake somebody’s hand,” he said, “You feel helpless and hopeless for a little while and it stings.”

Cpl Donley and other severely wounded veterans were brought together by rock n’ roll legend and Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters. Waters’ father was killed in World War II, his grandfather was killed in World War I.

“I grew up with that. With the loss of those two men. Never knowing either of them really,” Waters said.

Corporal Juan Dominguez played guitar in a heavy metal band when he was growing up in California. His love of music is on par with his love of America.

“Since I was 5-years-old I told my mom I wanted to be in the military,” he said.

Cpl Dominguez was a junior in high school when the Twin Towers fell. He enlisted in the military when he was 22. In September, 2010 he was deployed to Afghanistan where a roadside bomb changed his life forever.

The triple amputee didn’t want to live without music and he couldn’t pass up a chance to meet Roger Waters.

“I introduced myself and got to talking about music,” he said.

Waters recalled meeting the wounded vet and was surprised when Cpl Dominguez told him that he played guitar.

“He said ‘I play guitar’ and I sort of looked at him and thought, this is a stretch, how could he play guitar?” Waters said, “And then he went, ‘well not anymore, you know, I used to play the guitar. Now I play the drums’ and I thought, wow, how cool is that.”

Waters and the warriors performed on Wednesday night at the Stand Up For Heroes concert at Madison Square Garden. It was a concert for honoring and healing. Cpl. Donley sangĀ  a Leonard Cohen song that has become his own personal anthem.

The annual event was founded by Bob Woodruff the ABC News correspondent who was wounded in Iraq in 2006. The show raised $5-million for wounded veterans and their families.

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