Veteran Zeke Vanderpool brings Hope through his song “Restless Heart”
This featured Hear The Hope song, “Restless Heart,” was written and performed by Retired Army Sgt. First Class, Zeke Vanderpool. Zeke is a decorated U.S. veteran, who served in Special Operations, while deployed in Iraq (2010-2011). Zeke spent over 23 years in the military and served during several deployments, but his last operation in Iraq was the most difficult.
Music Is Good Medicine
One of the ways he coped and found hope amidst all of the loss and suffering he witnessed, was through writing and performing music.
While Zeke wrote several songs during his deployment (which you can hear on his website www.zekevanderpoolmusic.com), he wrote this month’s song “Restless Heart” four years after he returned.
Suicide Is All Too Common With Our Veterans
“In early 2015, I attended a funeral for a man that I had served with for many years. He was a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, a mentor to many of us in our military unit, and had become an Army Chaplain along the path of his military service. Half way through his funeral service, the pastor revealed that Bill’s death had been a suicide. That revelation hit us like a freight train,” Zeke recalls.
Later that evening Zeke stood around a campfire with some of his dearest friends and, a Battalion Commander asked Zeke to write a song that shines a light on suicide and PTSD, especially how it was impacting U.S. troops.
His Mission Of Music
Though, Zeke himself didn’t suffer from suicidal thoughts, he made it his mission to understand and show compassion to those who did. It took Zeke two years to write “Restless Heart.” He had to, he says, “Dive into a dark place to try and get my hands around it. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the suicide, so I interviewed many people. This song was born out of that journey and it has had a profound impact me.”
Zeke has performed the song many times and often hears back from listeners, who have said that “Restless Heart” has touched them and has given them not only hope, but the courage to talk about suicide in a way they couldn’t before. Zeke says, “Music has a way of transcending all the barriers in place and opens up a communication portal that helps steer us in the right direction.”
There Is Hope
Zeke’s hope is that anyone who is suffering from PTSD or depression, reaches out for help. He believes there is hope, and that you can hear it in the music. “Music is the ultimate connection,” he says. He encourages anyone listening to “Restless Heart” and relating to it, reaches out. “There is hope.”
If you are a veteran and need help contact theheroesjourney.org