The War & Treaty Speak Out in Support of Those Struggling With PTSD as They Accept Americana Emerging Artist of the Year Trophy
The 2019 Americana Honors & Awards ceremony marked a major triumph for the War and Treaty, husband and wife vocal duo Michael and Tanya Trotter. The pair took home the title of Emerging Artist of the Year during the evening. However, the pair explained onstage, they almost didn't make it to the ceremony.
A U.S. Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq, Michael struggled with homelessness and PTSD after completing his service. PTSD still affects him today, and especially given the significance of the day the awards show took place -- Sept. 11 -- he wasn't sure he'd be able to attend the awards show.
On the red carpet before the ceremony, Michael told The Boot that when he's onstage today, he often thinks back to a moment during his time in the military. At the time, he was an aspiring musician who wrote and performed songs for fallen soldiers while stationed overseas, but who had no expectations of achieving success in the music industry back home.
"[I think back on] sweeping the helipad in Iraq, as a soldier," he remembers. "Just day-dreaming, and acting like those helipad lights were stage lights, flood lights and stuff, because they look similar. That's my memory.
"If I could go back and tell that guy, 'You were right,'" he continues. "For us to be here, today of all days, it means so much. [I've got] a lot of buddies that are in the sky, looking down and rooting for us."
As the pair accepted their trophy, Michael spoke about the Americana community, and how his musical brethren have helped him overcome the PTSD episodes that make him feel like he can't perform or come to events like Wednesday evening's ceremony. "I remember when Mumford & Sons asked us to come out to Bridgestone. I was having a PTSD moment, and Marcus [Mumford] put his arms around me and said, 'Come on, man. This is where you belong. You belong here,'" Michael recalled onstage.
At the podium, Tanya also spoke out in support of soldiers and the families around them who deal with similar issues. "I would like to say that we almost didn't make it here tonight because as a family we suffer from PTSD. Today is 9/11, and my husband served two tours in Iraq," she explained to the audience. "We got up, and I started pushing him to come. So to every soldier, to every family, to every wife struggling with PTSD -- you can do it."
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