KRISTIN DICKERSON

Texas Connects Us: Veteran Taylor Bonham Heals Through Music

In the town of Weatherford, the Full Cup Coffee Shop is providing a humble musician a platform to perform.

"And I said, 'Well, do y'all mind if I come down there and play guitar? I mean, I'm not bad, but I'm not great,'" Taylor Bonham said.

Bonham started playing guitar as a child. Now as an adult, playing for others is helping him heal.

He is an Army veteran, enlisting in 1990 and serving 10 years.

"I loved the military, and it made me who I am today," Bonham said.

But in 2007, he said he was overcome with post-traumatic stress. He tried to escape it by drinking.

"And then one day I decided I was done with it, and I just drank until I didn't wake up," Bonham said.

It was a suicide attempt that put him in a coma.

"And then, when I woke up and realized God hadn't taken me yet, I thought, 'You know, maybe I should do something with this life. Maybe there's something else meant for me,'" Bonham said.

So he asked his wife to take him to the Fort Worth VA, where he enrolled in a class called Guitar for Heroes.

It didn't take long for Bonham to start leading it.

"I cannot say enough about this program. It is God-sent," said guitar student Keith Burrowes. Burrowes said playing the guitar helps ease his PTSD. "It puts you in a different mindset and it really helps you."

For Bonham, it helps him stay sober.

"Do I still want to go out and have a drink? Yes, sometimes I do, but I don't. Instead I grab my guitar," Bonham said.

From suicide attempt to sobriety and service, Bonham is using music to help heal — at first, himself — and now his fellow veterans.

"Service will always be in your heart," Bonham said. "And the one thing that we can serve when we get out is our other brothers and sisters."

Bonham has recorded a song he wrote called, "Same Star."

It is available for digital download on iTunes and Spotify.

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