- Associated Press - Saturday, July 5, 2014

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Marshall University professor and student are giving back through a national program teaching local military veterans how to play the guitar.

The Huntington school says associate professor Julio Alves and student Jonathan Thorne are working with veterans at the VA Medical Center in Spring Valley.

Their work is part of the Guitars for Vets program. It provides a practice guitar and free, private instruction in a structured program run by volunteers primarily through the VA facilities.

Guitars for Vets operates more than 40 chapters in more than 20 states. The Wisconsin-based not-for-profit founded in 2007 has given more than 20,000 lessons and distributed more than 2,000 guitars to veterans.

Alves says the program is a great opportunity to give back to those who have served the country.