Editorial: It's Time. Time To Save Lives Through Music And Conversation

It's time. Time to take a stand, time to talk, time to listen. Time to use music to heal and spark conversation. In this editorial we talk about tough topics that many do not wish to talk about but these are topics that can and must be discussed. 

It is time.

It's time to stop acting like mental illness, PTSD, and suicide don't exist.

It's time for us to stand tall, to take a stand and to take the stigma away. The best way I know how to do that is with music and words.

It's time to help our fellow man.

It's time to bring awareness, to bring these topics out of the shadows, into the light and to let people know it's OK to talk about, seek help and more.

There are two great songs are doing this right now. First, there's Joe Bachman's "A Soldier's Memoir." This song is about PTSD and how it affects those soldiers coming home AND their families. Then, there is "The Bible And The Gun," a song from Rosehill about a man so desperate, that he is contemplating suicide. Both songs are related. Many returning from combat soldiers commit suicide because of their PTSD and many people get PTSD from various things in their lives. It's not as simple as black and white, either.

Suicide isn't an easy, feel good topic like a pickup truck, fireball fueled party tune isn't. But they're shades of reality. Tonight, I lost the third person in my life to suicide. One of my oldest friends, a running buddy from back home. Our core group of five friends is now down to three. The first person I lost to suicide, our mutual buddy, took his own life while still a teenager in 1996. The third person I lost? My nephew who was a senior in high school in 2011 when he took his own life.

I have friends and family members who,suffered from PTSD. My late grandfather never talked about the horrors he saw in WWII. He just drowned his,sorrows into a fifth or two or five of whiskey for 30 years before sobering up. Some would've called him a functioning drunk. But he was a drunk trying to forget. He told me his stories before he died, as the elderly are wont to do, and I think it helped him pass away peacefully.

These are but two brief stories from my life, with me opening up and taking a stand. I didn't share their names because that's not the point of this story.

It's simply about sharing.

When people attempt suicide they are crying out, if they survive the attempt, people want to brush it under the rug and try to 'move on' and hide.

This isn't the 1950s.

We don't hide from our problems. We should follow God's words and help our fellow man.

Listen to them and let them tell their stories.

Often people at their deepest despair only want someone to talk to, someone to listen, someone who cares. We don't know the truest depths of despair that someone who commits suicide is in and we never know.

Now's the time to join Rosehill and their "Save A Life Tonight" campaign because of we can prevent even one person from taking their life, it's all worth it.

Now's the time to sit and listen to the soldiers or any other stranger when they talk about their experiences with the horrors of war or even life itself. You would be surprised at how better people feel when they just talk their problems out. You may never know how much of an impact you made on their lives just by listening. 

Take a look at the video for Joe Bachman's "A Soldier's Memoir" here and Rosehill's "The Bible And The Gun" here. I promise they're worth your time. These are some of the best, most impactful songs to be released in 2013 and they deserve your attention.

The point of my story here, is to create a dialogue and thankfully music is such a great vessel for this. In the coming days, I will be sharing a story about Rosehill's motivation for creating their Save A Life Tonight campaign and I'll also be sharing joe Bachman's motivations for creating a truly moving song in "A Soldier's Memoir."

These are both heavy, interwoven topics. But they are real and like Brad Paisley sang, "This Is Country Music, and We Do" talk about these topics.

We can and Should talk about these topics. and Here, on these pages, we will.