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A Missoula veteran will hold an informal meeting seeking veterans interested in learning instruments, along with instructors who want to teach.

Clinton Decker will hold the get-together for his fledgling Hero Sound Project at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at the Zootown Arts Community Center, 231 N. First St. W.

The first session will be dedicated to finding out what instruments people want to learn to play, along with what days and times are available.

"I'm telling everybody they're welcome to bring their instrument if they want," he said.

Decker, a U.S. Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq in 2003 to 2004, began playing guitar about 2 1/2 years ago, including a year's worth of lessons with his son.

"I found that it's really helped me with my PTSD," he said. When he's playing guitar, "the whole world stops."

That spurred the idea for the group, which has thus far taken the form of a few open mics, and now he's looking to expand it further. Initially, it could be weekly sessions. If there's enough interest, they could form bands in the same fashion as the ZACC's successful youth and teen rock camp program, or have a performance night for the public.

Kia Liszak, the ZACC's executive director, said the nonprofit arts center is "looking forward to helping develop the project further."

"This is exactly the kind of direction that our alternative music project wants to go, which is essentially empowering and healing through music exploration for all," she said.

Anyone interested in the project can reach Decker at 406-214-5541,, or the Hero Sound Project Facebook page.

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