We encountered the heartfelt work of Songwriting With Soldiers midway through the making of From Shock to Awe. It was our dream to use one of their songs composed by a combat vet but didn’t know if we would find a good fit for our content. As soon as we heard The Phoenix we knew it was a match. Aprinee and Bonnie have captured not only the depth of pain our vets and their families have experienced but also their strong spirits and the hope for healing. As they say in their song, the phoenix always rises!


Listen and sing along.

Painting ‘The Phoenix” by Aprinee Sarkisian.

About the Songwriters:

Aprinee Sarkisian
Army Major (R) in Military Intelligence who has 16yrs of commissioned service. She served for 12yrs and 9mos Active Duty with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. She is currently an endurance athlete/stay at home mom/Army wife/ and student.

Bonnie Bishop
Bonnie Bishop is a prolific singer-songwriter who currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She has written songs with Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, and many others. She climbed the country chart in 2013 with a song delivered by Connie Britton, the star of ABC-TV’s hit series “Nashville” and considers her work with SongwritingWith:Soldiers to be among the highlights of her life.

Aprinee Sarkisian

Bonnie Bishop

About SongwritingWith:Soldiers

SongwritingWith:Soldiers transforms lives by using collaborative songwriting to expand creativity, connections and strengths. SW:S pair veterans and active-duty service members with professional songwriters in retreat settings to craft songs about combat and the transition home.  “The Phoenix” was written by Veteran, Aprinee Sarkisian and Singer-Songwriter Bonnie Bishop at a retreat in Belton, Texas, near Fort Hood. You can learn more about SongwritingWith:Soldiers at songwritingwithsoldiers.org

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this documentary are those of the filmmakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of SongwritingWith:Soldiers and participants.