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michael caimona

U.S. Navy
Warrior Music Foundation Inc.

Military life came naturally to Michael; he was born into a family where his father, brothers, and uncles all served. It wasn't their goal to be recognized as a "military family;" rather, they all shared the belief that service is "just what you do" to give back to your country. Enlisting was always in the back of Michael's mind, and when he learned he could combine his passion for the intelligence community with his desire to serve, his mind was made up.

Michael joined the U.S. Navy as an Intelligence Specialist and later graduated from Officer Candidate School. He served on the submarine USS Boise, and later as the Officer of Naval Intelligence, where he deployed globally post-9/11. After 10 years of service in which he earned four Navy Commendation medals, he left the military; but his desire to help others persisted. "When you volunteer to serve in the military, that service is not limited to your time in uniform," Michael says. "I feel an obligation to serve my community and my fellow veterans."

In his post-military life, Michael dove back into music, one of his old hobbies, with the same passion he gives everything in his life. One day, he asked some of his musician friends to get together with some of his veteran friends. "I realized we had something pretty powerful," he says, "so I started to really partner with music therapists to put a program together."

This became the core of Warrior Music Foundation (WMF), which offers free music lessons and music therapy to veterans and their families. Michael understands that not every veteran will initially want to work with therapists, but the music lessons can still provide healing on their own. This way, the organization can help as many people as possible. "I feel like, if there's an opportunity to help even one veteran, we should do it. So I'm all in."

Part of what makes WMF unique is that they're endorsed by the American Music Therapy Association and "rooted in the science of that trade craft." "Music therapy started in the Army post-World War II," Michael explains. "There are a lot of organizations that will say they use music as therapy, but we have board-certified music therapists."

You can learn more about Warrior Music Foundation and their work with veterans and their families at

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