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Victim's brother asks for help in preventing police suicides

Marine veteran promotes cause through song
Posted: 3:30 PM, May 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-03 18:21:41-04
Marine veteran fights PTSD with rock songs
Marine veteran fights PTSD with rock songs
Marines' suicide note in a song gets pre-release
Marine veteran fights PTSD with rock songs

So far this year, 73 police officers have committed suicide in the United States. Suicides are outpacing line of duty deaths for the fourth year in a row.

The brother of a local police officer who took his own life is asking for support for their families and for the cause of treating PTSD among police.

You can help by buying a T-shirt and listening to a song being released as a single on Friday.

The song is "Superman Falls" by John Preston. The song and the T-shirt honor Michael Preston, a local veteran and police officer who took his life in 2016.

WCPO introduced you to John Preston and his songs in 2017.

Michael Preston, a husband and father of four, was a Marine veteran who worked as a deputy for Boone County and then Newport Police.

Post-traumatic stress was not really dealt with during his years of service.

John Preston, a firefighter and a Marine veteran himself, is working to change that in his brother’s honor.

He says his goal is to “make PTSD something that we're not afraid of - something that we as police officers, firefighters and veterans don't see as a problem but see as something that we have and we live with and we're stronger because we have it.”

Proceeds from the T-shirt, available on gruntstyle.com, will help bluehelp.org pay for families to attend a gala in Washington this month honoring officers who've lost their lives to suicide. Blue H.E.L.P. is an organization that advocates for police suffering with PTSD.

“As far as I'm concerned - and I might get pushback for this - my brother died in the line of duty,” John Preston said. “My brother died because of his wounds that he had in his work for 20 years.”

Meanwhile, John Preston hopes “Superman Falls” will keep speaking to his fellow first responders suffering with PTSD.

“I want the entire world to know that this is a fight that we're in and we'll win this fight,” Preston said.