LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A veteran who partners with nonprofits in Michigan has turned his passion for music into a career.
And now, he’ll soon be on the big screen, as Hallmark is working on a movie about his life.
“It’s one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to me, other than being a husband and a father, is becoming a Marine,” said Stephen Cochran, who has spent his summers in Michigan since childhood.
At a young age, after seeing his cousin fresh out of boot camp, Cochran knew he wanted to become a Marine. Like many Americans, he signed up for service after the terrorist attacks of September 2001. He was deployed to Iraq in 2003.
“I was one of the first Marine battalions to enter,” Cochran said. “We were a part of [Regimental Combat Team 1]. We fought in the Battle of Nasiriyah, which was the first big, major city to fall in Iraq; all the way up to Tikrit and back.”
But Cochran’s life would soon be changed forever after he suffered a back injury that caused him to lose his ability to walk. “The vehicle in front of us went around the hole and my vehicle didn’t see it, and we hit it, threw me off the back, came back down on a bustle rack; broke my back from L1 to L5 and shattered all my lumbars,” said Cochran.
Though doctors told Cochran he would never walk again, he pushed on. With a major back surgery and the help of his family, he would walk again in just one year. And after the injury, Cochran got back to his passion for country music, writing songs about the hardships that veterans face.
Now, Cochran has been a member of the Country Music Awards, sung at the awards ceremony, completed his Stop 22 Tour to end veteran suicides and now has a new album coming out. “My first single, ‘Keep On,’ we released yesterday,” he said. “And now it’s out everywhere.”
Cochran’s incredible tale of beating the odds is now being made into a movie. “We signed a deal with Hallmark where they have written, and now it looks like we will hopefully, since the strike is over soon, we will soon be in production on the film based on my life,” Cochran said.