Editors Note: Adapt and overcome: many Marines have applied this motto to cope with the stresses of combat and returning home. Some hunt. Some write stories or blogs. Many wrap themselves up in their hobbies. Lt. Col. Michael Corrado uses his musical talents to send a message to Marines dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I have been playing music my whole life. It’s been a great way for me to express my thoughts and share stories with others. There are many ways to tell the Marine Corps story and one of the ways I do it is through music.
I’ve had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the biggest names in music (Bon Jovi, John Mayer, Black Eyed Peas, Edwin McCain) as well as perform for Wounded Warriors, Gold Star Families and other military events.
Although many of my songs are not about the military, the ones that are like “Stand”, “On My Watch Tonight” and “Start Saving Me” have struck a chord with military audiences and mainstream audiences as well.
Being a Marine, it’s easy to draw inspiration from people I have served with, deployed with and my own experiences.
“Lucky One” is the story of a service member dealing with the effects of PTSD and combat stress after losing three close friends in an IED blast. When he returns home, his mind continually relives the moment while those around him say how lucky he was to have survived. In this case, he doesn’t feel like the lucky one as he deals with the effects of combat stress and finds himself on the verge of an irreversible decision.
I know service members and friends who struggle with these issues. With “Lucky One” I hope to tell a story that lets service members know, that even though they may feel alone, there are others struggling with the stress and concerns of combat and military life and it’s okay to seek help. I also want to raise awareness for military families and those in civilian communities to learn more about PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and the warning signs of combat stress — so they can reach out to service members, help them get assistance and prevent those at risk from making an irreversible decision. It’s an important subject that extends beyond the base as service members leave active duty or Guard and Reserve members demobilize and transition back into their civilian employment and communities after deployments. It’s sometimes easy to recognize service members with physical scars but much more difficult to see the scars that hide deep inside of those suffering with PTSD/TBI.
Good luck in your endeavors, sir. Semper Fi.