As A Rapper Named Soldier Hard, Veteran Jeff Barillo Uses Music To Heal From War

Born from war and the desire to heal, Iraq war veteran Jeff Barillo's music is giving a much-needed voice -- and solace -- to a silenced community, NPR reports.

Like many veterans, coming home from the war has been hard for 35-year-old Barillo.

A soldier from the age of 19, Barillo was in the army for more than 10 years. He served in Iraq twice, went AWOL once and campaigned for 3 years to get re-enlisted. In an interview with SF Weekly, Barillo describes seeing friends get killed in roadside explosions and watching as his marriage of 10 years fell apart.

Like hundreds of thousands of other Iraq and Afghanistan vets, Barillo has been diagnosed with severe PTSD.

Despite the traumas of war that continue to haunt him daily, Barillo -- also known as Soldier Hard -- has found a way to cope. A rapper who describes his style as "military hop," Barillo has been making music since his days as a soldier in Iraq.

With songs like "This Is Me PTSD" and “Shame On Y’All (Thank A Veteran)” -- and lyrics that cover everything from killing Iraqi combatants to missing loved ones at home, Barillo told Men's Health that his music has not only helped him process the trauma, but it's also been his way of supporting his fellow soldiers and vets.

“As long as there are American soldiers overseas, then that’s how long I’ll be writing military songs,” he said.

For the NPR interview, click here.