Preston penned his first song “Good, Good America” while fighting for his country in Iraq back in 2004.
That led to him releasing the song as a single with record label real2real.
He then released his first album “Your war is over” with Pacific Records in 2014.
Since returning from war Preston has set out to save lives not only through his day job as a firefighter, but also his mission through music to stop suicide among vets.
22 vets commit suicide each day in the U.S.
Preston says, “My brother was tough and strong, he served his country and then he hid his emotions, no one saw this coming, my life has changed forever.”
He wants anyone thinking about taking their own life to think about their families and the pain they will leave behind.
“My next album “Superman Falls” shows my weaknesses, the devil dog who went to war is not as tough as people think. Sometimes we all need help,” adds Preston.
The singer /songwriter now sighed with Pacific Records is hoping to raise enough funds to complete the album by the end of the year.
“It’s amazing what police and firefighters do every day to help people; I am glad they will be recognized for their efforts. Preston visited me in the hospital. He and the whole crew went above and beyond to make sure I got to see my family again. On the journey to the hospital, my wife got to know Preston and learned about his work with Veterans, helping to raise suicide awareness in the fight against post-traumatic stress disorder.”
“I met the police who performed CPR on me they came to my house so I could thank them in person. I also visited the firehouse recently and got to introduce myself to the guys who saved my life. It was a very scary experience for me my family they helped us through it. We also got to hear John sing. He sang a song he wrote for his father. The lyrics were very powerful. He saves lives, writes songs and sings,” says Milne.
“Having spent the last few years sending out the message and raising awareness about veteran suicide and the dangers of PTSD I often switch my emotions off when it comes to being a firefighter. The outcome is not always good no matter how hard we try. I visited Milne in hospital as it resonated with me after losing my dad, he is someone’s dad too,” adds Preston.
“I know that it is rare that we are recognized like this and I hope that they embrace the moment and take the sentiment to heart. The four crews being honored are E62, E64, and M62 on two different shifts, says Deputy Fire Chief Catherine Capriles.
“Thank you for saving my life. The words are so inadequate when you realize what they did to help me,” says Andrew Milne of Palo Alto.
In March, Milne suffered a heart attack at his home. The firefighters from Engine 64 and Medic 62 played a big role in saving Milne’s life.
Country singer and always-marine John Preston was part of the 5-man team who brought Milne back from the edge of death.
“The exit process for vets has improved since 2004, I remember my two- hour class, known as the separation class. It wasn’t enough and it was a stigma to say you needed help. I dealt with it through depression and alcoholism. I want to make sure others don’t go through that, “ says Preston.
You can support his music mission by checking out his previous music on itunes.
You can also follow John on Facebook.com/johnprestonmusic and on twitter @johnprestonusa
“We received a ‘man down’ call, so we are never really sure what we are walking into when we get those calls. When we arrived Milne had no pulse, he wasn’t breathing. We started compressions and shocks, until we brought him back,” says Preston.
“I lost my father recently seeing Andrew reminded me of that, seeing his wife and children I didn’t want them to lose a husband and father,” added Preston.”
Milne says his friends and family filled in the blanks of what happened as he doesn’t remember much about the day he collapsed.
“My daughter heard me gasping for breath and called my wife, she reached out to a neighbor for help as they were waiting for the EMT crew to arrive. My neighbor who is a teacher gave me CPR, before the police and the firefighters arrived.”
Always marine and singer/songwriter John Preston set out with a mission through music to raise suicide awareness among vets. What he didn’t see coming was the suicide of his brother, a vet and his hero.
We all have our heroes and it’s ok if sometimes they fall and need help. That’s the message from ex-marine and singer/songwriter John Preston.
“Marines, soldiers, anyone fighting in combat are trained to be strong and not show weakness. I want people to know, it’s ok to ask for help. I spent years raising awareness about suicide in vets, only to miss the signs in my own brother,” Says Preston.
Preston’s brother took his own life back in January.
“I was part of the inception of the 22 lives a day, it’s all over the web now, people doing 22 push –ups a day or reaching out to 22 people a day to check on them. The sad part is those numbers are most likely higher than we think. The study that was carried out by the U.S. Department of Veterans affairs didn’t include Texas or California,” adds Preston.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in Northern Kentucky, Preston is now working on his third album that looks back at the last 6 months of his life, losing his dad to illness and his brother through suicide.
Preston says, “I knew then that we had put together a special album and wanted to do all I could to create success! I made the connection with VI and Pacific records and had been involved in all of the proceedings since. Pacific was gracious enough to not only release the album and help promote it but to assure 100% of the sales go back to VI.”
The Valkyrie Initiative, a is non-profit organization dedicated to helping our nation’s heroes, provides a variety of vital services to include jobs and life skills training; recreational therapy and so much more.
“Out of this mission arose a project the first of its kind. Veteran singer/songwriters are banding together with the message of hope for their brothers and sisters. This project, Battle Cry: Songs of America’s Heroes, is an epic CD comprised of powerful songs revealing the heart of those who stand on the line between the public and chaos, between freedom and tyranny. These songs shout out the strength of our warriors as they share their experiences and push through the challenges of reintegration,” Says Sheila Stephens CEO of the Valkyrie Institute.
“This organization is a perfect fit for me. This charity helps integrating veterans and first responder’s transition back into society and helps with their personal battles with PTSD. There could not be a better fit. As a firefighter and a combat Marine who just lost my brother who was a Marine and police officer to suicide, there is not another charity that could make more sense,” adds Preston.
“Pacific, my record label will be releasing the album and will help promote it. I have started to rally the other artists and together we will make a vision a reality. We are the best there is in what we do, and now we have an opportunity to make a difference for our fellow veterans together.”
Photo Credit: Bradford Rogne
Always Marine and rock singer John Preston is joining forces with the Valkyrie Initiative (VI) and other rock greats to release an album created by combat veterans.“I was asked by Sheila Stephens the CEO of The Valkyrie Initiative (VI) if I would donate a song for a compilation cd featuring all combat veteran musicians. I was blown away by the track list with artists like The Scooter Brown Band, Ryan Weaver, and Dave Bray of Madison Rising! These artists have put in the work and are doing amazing things for the veteran community,” says Preston
Preston faced his demons after returning from Iraq, suffering from PTSD and hitting the bottle to try and find an answer. Preston lost his brother to suicide after suffering from PTSD. Now he devotes time to making music, helping other veterans to get help and raising awareness on the alarmingly high rate of suicide among America’s vets.
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Preston will also make an appearance on Fox national radio with David Webb on December 7th. He will talk about the album and his leadership in the veteran community and what he has been able to accomplish so far.
Right now the album featuring “Superman Falls” looks to be released in mid-January.
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