COVINGTON, Ky. -- One Tri-State veteran will take part in a benefit this weekend to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder.
John Preston, a Marine combat veteran and Tri-State native who has battled post-traumatic stress disorder through music, is set to perform at Oakcreek Pavilion’s Family Fest this Saturday.
It is an event to raise money for “22 Until Valhalla,” a non-profit that helps military men and women with PTSD along with their families.
Preston was excited to join the event and requested to perform at the event in honor of his brother Michael, who also struggled with PTSD before he took his own life.
Two of Preston’s songs appear on the album, “Battle Cry: Songs of America's Heroes.” The songs are inspired by his late brother and as a part of the album made the top 40 of the rock chart on its first day of release on iTunes.
For Preston, raising awareness of PTSD is important because 22 veterans a day take their own life.
“Post-traumatic stress is a monster,” Preston said. “It’s something that you won’t always visually see in a person that you are around.”
According to Preston, it is important for the veteran community to recognize the issues they face and try to make change within themselves.
“I tell people all the time it's what’s you do now, it’s who you are now,” Preston said. “And what can you do moving forward?”
Zack McGuffey, president and founder of “22 Until Valhalla”, was a former Marine. He started the organization after once contemplating suicide and then seeing the effect on the family of his friend who committed suicide.
With the non-profit, McGuffey seeks to prevent veterans from committing suicide.
“I think it’s important to talk to your veteran and be open and honest and love him through it,” McGuffey said.
Oakcreek Pavillion’s Family Fest, full of games, food, and performance, will take place Saturday from noon until midnight in Walton, Kentucky.