By Phil Briggs
It’s not often that a hip hop artist’s experience with guns includes firefights in Afghanistan.
And it’s even rarer when his story of trauma, death, and addiction has a happy ending.
But that’s the journey of George “Mik” Todd — a Navy medical corpsman who treated combat casualties as part of a Marine Corps unit and is now healing with music.
Known as “Doc Todd,” he says his message to fellow veterans is simple: “You are not alone.”
The songs on his album “Combat Medicine” offer insight into the mind of the combat veteran. And the single “Not Alone” delivers advice on how anyone can help friends dealing with post-traumatic stress.
“Pick up the phone,” Todd says. “We need to use technology as a tool, not a crutch to substitute for real connection.”
Doc says you can’t assume social media posts will really let you know if a friend is in crisis.
“We all want to show our best selves first,” he says, “but could be purposely masking what we’re really going through. If you literally picked up the phone and called that dude, and you heard the tone of his voice, you’d be able to tell a lot about how he’s doing pretty quickly.”
Todd is currently touring the country promoting his music and message.
In Washington, D.C., he’s spoken about Veterans issues with members of Congress.
What does the future hold for Doc Todd? A USO tour for military people around the world? Perhaps touring with an artist like Chance The Rapper? Both seem possibilities for an artist who says he hopes one day to record a Veterans Day song with fellow Memphis native, Justin Timberlake.
Time will tell. For now, he’s working, he says, to help fellow vets one song at a time.
Listen to the entire discussion below:
Doc Todd’s single Not Alone and the album Combat Medicine are available on iTunes and on his website.