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  • Writer's pictureTodd McKinley

Veterans Suicide and My Late Best Friend Bradley J. Bush

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

On November 18th, 2022, I began writing a book, with the working title “Veterans Suicide and My Late Best Friend Bradley J. Bush.” I hoped to have finished and published it by now, but with my schedule, I put it to the side, so as not to rush it.

That said, I should reiterate that I'm dedicating the book to the memory of my late best friend, fellow Army Veteran and Paratrooper Bradley J. Bush (March 11th, 1975-December 24th, 2017), who committed suicide on Christmas Eve 2017. I'm dedicating it to every Veteran who’s committed suicide, and their families.

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 those they leave behind. 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). However, 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 discuss ways all of us can intervene by providing resources that can help those who may be feeling suicidal, as well as those who care.

I hope people will support me in this endeavor, given I plan to donate the proceeds from the sale of this book to support combatting Veteran suicide and the American Legion’s “Be the One” campaign.

Todd A. McKinley, BA, MSL


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