"It's easy for us all to say, 'Support the troops,' and then not talk about the real impact that going to war might have had on them, physically or mentally," says singer-songwriter Jamie Kent, who addresses the post-traumatic stress disorder that afflicts many returning veterans in his excellent song "Home Again."
A track on Kent's album All-American Mutt, the acoustic-based song was written with Tim Jackson, Will Thompson and Kent's Grammy-nominated producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark's 12 Stories). Ahead of Veterans Day on November 11th, Kent teamed up with photographer Michael A. McCoy, a U.S. veteran who is suffering from PTSD, to create a music video that puts a human face on "the troops." The clip for "Home Again" opens with a stark fact – that an average of 20 veterans die from suicide each day – before a montage of McCoy's photos of fellow vets accompanies Kent's lyrics.
"Twenty vets take their own lives every day. That to me is unacceptable," says the Massachusetts-born Kent. "I know talking about it can be uncomfortable, so usually we just don't. We push it under the rug and don't put a face on it, because it's too hard and too real. But starting a conversation is the first step to doing that, and I feet like I have the ability and responsibility to do that through my music."
Kent has earmarked a portion of the proceeds from sales of "Home Again" to the Pat Tillman Foundation, which helps provide support for troops returning from deployment and has sent more than 500 veterans through college. He also hopes to further shine a light on McCoy's photography, which McCoy, who served two tours in Iraq, took up as therapy for his own PTSD.
Currently on tour with Marc Broussard, Kent is one of Rolling Stone Country's 10 Country Artists You Need to Know. He released All-American Mutt in 2016.