Search

Updated: 2 days ago


Folks, I've begun writing a book, with the working title "Veterans Suicide and My Late Best Friend Bradley J. Bush." Again, just a working title, but my point in this blog isn't to discuss titles, but to touch on the content. Before getting into what the synopsis is, I want to point out that I'm dedicating it to the memory of my late best friend and fellow Army Veteran and Paratrooper Bradley J. Bush (March 11th, 1975-December 24th, 2017), who committed suicide on Christmas Eve 2017, as well as the memories of every Veteran who’ve committed suicide, and their families.


In this book, my plan is to introduce you (the reader) to my late best friend through a series of short stories, and dozens of sayings Brad used regularly. But this will not be a biography, instead, it’ll serve as a reminder that life is precious, and that a Veteran or anyone who commits suicide is more than just a number or statistic, they are fellow human beings.


It's important to remember, that those who take their own lives, not only end their earthly existence permanently, but they affect the lives of those who loved and cared for them for the rest of their lives. Or, as I’ve heard it said, “suicide is a permanent solution, to a temporary problem(s),” but in reality, it only creates more problems for their family and friends. Now I get it, people who take their own lives do so for many reasons, such as, suffering from life-altering illnesses, and/or injuries that they’ve suffered through for years and will have done so for the rest of their natural lives. While others commit suicide due to mental illness, post-traumatic stress, depression, drug and alcohol addiction, or similar reasons.


Regardless, you’re not going to find any judgment, nor will you find me justifying a person’s choice(s). But, after I discuss Brad, I plan to shift the focus by pointing out ways every one of us can identify signs of someone who may be suicidal. I’ll also be adding ways any one of us can intervene by providing resources that can help those who may be feeling suicidal, as well as those who care.


Finally, I hope people will support me in this endeavor, given I plan to donate the proceeds from the sale of this book to support the American Legion’s “Be the One” campaign. https://www.legion.org/betheone




Todd A. McKinley, BA, MSL

SFC, USA-Ret.

Todd@toddmckinley.com

www.toddmckinley.com

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

35 views0 comments
  • Todd McKinley

Updated: Aug 23


Memorandum For: Sullivan West Ridge High School Seniors (Class of 2023)

SUBJECT: The Todd A. McKinley Scholarship


1. I’m pleased to announce the Todd A. McKinley scholarship for the second graduating class of West Ridge, the Class of 2023.


2. This scholarship will be available to only 1-graduating senior, from West Ridge’s class of 2023, the second graduating class. It will be awarded primarily based on character, academic qualifications; career goals, projects, accomplishments, and educational plans, and any recommendation letters will also be considered. The amount of this scholarship is in the amount of a one-time payment of $500, which will be made to the awardee after officially and successfully graduating, but the winner will be named during the 2023 awards day.


3. Minimum Prerequisites:

a. Be a person of good character.

b. Be a West Ridge 2023 graduate in 4 years or less.

c. Have at least a 3.0 GPA

d. Be involved in at least one extracurricular activity outside of normal school hours, either sponsored by the school or a reputable organization. Regularly volunteering in the community will suffice.

e. Not required but encouraged: A letter of recommendation from a West Ridge faculty member, former Teacher, an elected official, community leader, coach, etc., but not from a relative.


4. How to apply:


a. Complete the attached application. (Email me for an application: Todd@toddmckinley.com)

b. Submit all required documentation before the deadline. Applications will not be reviewed until after the deadline, therefore changes to submitted applications will be allowed until then.


5. Application deadline is 5:00 pm on Friday, April 7th, 2023.


6. Submit all applications to Todd@toddmckinley.com

Subject: Todd A. McKinley Scholarship: Your Last Name, Your First Name

Title all documents appropriately. Use Word and/or PDF if possible.


7. I look forward to receiving the applications and rendering a timely unbiased decision. Note, my decision will be based solely on the criteria above, no applicant will be discriminated against based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.


8. Any questions and all applications should be emailed to the undersigned.




Todd A. McKinley, BA, MSL

SFC, USA-Ret.

Todd@toddmckinley.com

www.toddmckinley.com

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter


88 views0 comments
  • Todd McKinley

Updated: Feb 15


Dear Fellow Veteran(s),


Please let us preserve your story by sitting down with me (Todd A. McKinley), and Carrie Carpenter a Hawkins County (Tennessee) School Teacher and amateur historian, either in person or via Zoom. Coming from a family of Veterans and being a Veteran of more than 20 years of service in the Army, which includes combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as having been active in Veterans Service Organizations since retiring in 2016, I truly understand that every Veteran has a story to tell. Sadly, in our nation’s history, there have been millions of Veterans whose stories have been lost to time. Certainly, I understand the various reasons why many Veterans don’t wish to share their stories or often wait until late in life to do so


That said, to ensure the stories of your service to the nation, any life stories you would like to share, to include any advice you would like to impart to future generations is preserved, here’s an excellent opportunity. The reason we’ve embarked on this project is to ensure that your stories will live on for generations to come. This is purely a not-for-profit endeavor, and to prevent exploitation of anyone and his or her experiences, our plan is to merely document and edit (as needed) then donate our findings to the Veteran’s County archives, historical society, local libraries, state archives and other institutions that would have an interest.


Should a future researcher or producer come across the material and wish to use any of it for profit, the stipulation for its use would be for all or a portion of the profits to be donated to a Veterans Service Organizations of the Veterans choosing. In addition to traveling throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, our plan is to also make ourselves available to any Veteran within a reasonable area from our hometown in Upper East Tennessee, who wishes to sit down in person versus utilizing Zoom.



“For God and Country!”


Todd A. McKinley, BA, MSL

SFC, USA-Ret.

Todd@toddmckinley.com

www.toddmckinley.com

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter


305 views0 comments