Thursday, January 28, 2016

VSA Texas Unsung Hero of the Week: Rod Sigler

Rod Sigler is a local veteran musician whose talent gained him a spot in the stage show at the National VA Creative Arts Festival in 2015. Rod sent us a few words about his trip to North Carolina:

“What a great event! The nation's greatest Veteran talent was calibrated together for one event that was the Creative Arts Festival. People from all walks of life and different talents came together to show their gold medal winning art, dance, drama, and voices.

Rod Sigler at the National Veterans
Creative Arts Festival in North Carolina
"I, Rod Sigler, represented Austin, TX and enjoyed the fellowship so much that it sent me back home on a mission to make an impact in the community and take some other veterans with me. Most of the songs we sang were classics by John Denver. Initially I thought that it was not my style of music and would not be something I would enjoy doing. What I found is that I could step out of my comfort zone, grow, and demonstrate the flexibility to do more kinds of music and reach a point where, those of us who won solo parts, we could own it and add our personality to it. Moving through the week it started to wear on us but many of us started to consider the words of the songs. We began to ask questions like, "Who is this person I am singing next to?" Before you knew it, what we had worked on for hours a day for an entire week had culminated into a fine event that we nailed. The North Carolina community was so loving, and you could tell they loved and appreciated veterans. Before you knew it, the music stopped and there was no more preparation. There was almost a midst of sadness that swept across the room and on the bus ride home. It was over. Time to get back to our life.

Rod with his gold medal for first place in the
Original Vocal category for his song, "We Are Veterans"
"The key to any experience like this is will it be a moment or a movement to bring back things learned in order to see what can be done in our communities. I told the group in a meeting that the only way that we could not let anything garnered that week to die is to keep breathing life into it by returning home, seeing who you can build up, inspire, and impact in a manner that causes others to reach higher, make a difference to the local community of vets back home and maybe themselves make the trip next year.”

 Rod practicing for the stage show
Rod has definitely inspired us here at VSA Texas to work on expanding our Distinguished Artist Veterans program to include more veteran musicians and writers. Look out for more details on that program and learn more about our veteran services at

If you are a veteran served by the VA, then you too can enter the National VA Creative Arts Competition. The 2016 event will be held in Jackson, MS and includes categories in Visual Art, Dance, Drama, Music, and Creative Writing. To qualify, you must enter through your local VA. If you are in Austin and receive services at the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic, then entries are due by March 9th. Make an appointment to record your Music, Dance, or Drama entry on 9th. Bring your Art or Writing entries to the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic on March 8th & 9th. Contact Jeffrey Norrod at the VA at 254-624-2911 for details.

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