Bay area veteran builds steel drums to get in tune with those living with PTSD

Posted at 11:25 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 23:25:15-05

U.S. Army veteran Dino DiBernadinis is on a mission to drown out the sounds of war with the sound of music.

"I started noticing kind of an empty and dead feeling inside," DiBernadinis said.

Sixteen years in places like Bosnia and Somalia had taken a toll.

Like so many other veterans, that toll eventually lead to an attempt at suicide.

"I took an entire bottle of sleeping pills and washed it down with a tremendous amount of beer," DiBernadinis said.

Where he thought his story would end was just the beginning, surviving the night while rediscovering his love for music.

"I came to in the ambulance and said to the EMT, I don't really want to die," DiBernadinis said.

He now builds custom steel drums out of recycled propane tanks. Each handcrafted and tuned in his backyard.

Each one eventually landing in the hands of his fellow brothers in arms free of charge through community donations.

"So it starts off with these flushed propane tanks and what we do is we cut off the handle to start," said DiBernadinis.

"We set it up to where people can donate on our Pay Pal. You can donate $100 and sponsor a whole drum or people can donate smaller amounts towards the $100 cost to make the drums."

The cost goes to replace the tools he uses to make the drums. The labor is free.

For DiBernadinis the sounds vibrating through the drums he makes has given him far more than a new life and hopes it will do the same for many others.

"It's not just saved my life, but gave me purpose, and that was more important than anything," said DiBernadinis.

To make a donation towards a drum click here: