“The night I got the phone call about Michael taking his life, the cameras were rolling. We were getting ready to go on stage in Sacramento.”

“And I felt like a failure. I felt like, what am I doing? I need to put the guitar down. I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I failed my own family. I missed it because I was too busy out preaching it — 22 veterans a day commit suicide — all over the country. And I missed it in my own home.”


John Preston is a Marine veteran and a firefighter in the town of Warsaw, Kentucky. He’s also a musician. A songwriter. And a brother, to Michael Preston, a police officer and father of four, who committed suicide after succumbing to the terrible suffering of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When he got the news of his passing, John was about to do what he loves best: play his songs, his messages, to a lively crowd. Through some awful twist of fate, what he sings about is precisely what brought about his brother’s demise.

Two of his ballads can be found on a Top 40 iTunes collection called “Battle Cry: Songs of America’s Heroes.”

For a time, the tragedy made John’s passion, and efforts, seem futile. Then, one night, it changed.

The “it” was his brother, and his memory. It all possessed him to write yet another song.

A tribute.

To his bro. The fallen Superman:

This from WCPO:

Michael was Superman to a lot of people.

“An awesome dad,” John said.

I had to ask him, then, how Michael could take his own life:

“So in some piece of his mind, he knows this is going to hurt people and yet he could not … reconcile whatever was going on inside him,” I said. What do you think that is?”

“I think there’s a monster,” John replied.

“I think that at the moment that Michael pulled the trigger, if there would’ve been one thought left, it would’ve been regret … But at that moment, whatever box he was trapped inside of in his own head, he wasn’t able to get out of.”

To find the entire collection (profits go to the Valkyrie Initiative to help vets) click here and grab it on iTunes.