An a cappella quartet composed of veterans and active-duty service members wowed the audience on the eve of the finale of the TV show America's Got Talent.
Voices of Service first started singing to help get through what they experienced in combat. Their mission today is to spread awareness about the good that music can do for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, better known as PTSD.
"Our message is a message of resilience for those who are on a recovery journey,” says Caleb Green, a retired U.S. Army master sergeant who served eight combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"You don't have to be active-duty military or retired. It's really for anyone on a recovery journey from post-traumatic stress to substance abuse to physical abuse, domestic violence,” he says. “We attempt to use our gifts to heal."
His fellow singers include Sgt. 1st Class Jason Hanna, Sgt. Maj. Christal Rheams and Staff Sgt. Ron Henry.
The group first impressed the audience with their own unique arrangement of Katy Perry's single “Rise."
They breezed through the season into the top with renditions of One Republic's “Choke" and Charlie Puth's “See You Again.” Gavin DeGraw's “Fire" was backed by a chorus featuring members from all five military branches.
Before the Tuesday night performance of Leona Lewis’ “Footprints in the Sand,” the group shared excerpts from letters they received from service members afflicted with PTSD.
"Y'all have been a light in the darkness for at least one soldier,” one letter read.
After their performance, judge Gabrielle Union was enthusiastic.
"You are instruments of healing, and you are beyond this stage and brilliant, absolutely brilliant,” she said.
Voices of Service is affiliated with the Center for American Military Music Opportunities, a Virginia-based nonprofit that veterans run to bring together service members interested in music. The center also creates music therapy programs to help veterans with past and present neurological impairments.
The group has had several performances, including at the Canadian embassy, the American Legion Convention, and former Vice President Joe Biden's home for an event.
"I feel like there are so many people that get to hear this now, so many people that it will help,” Rheams said backstage after a performance. “I'm happy about that."