Navy vet and hip-hop artist Doc Todd teams with Diet Coke to break down PTS label

Julia LeDoux
July 08, 2019 - 11:21 am
Unlabeled can

Photo Courtesy Diet Coke

Navy veteran and hip-hop artist George “Doc” Todd, Jr., doesn’t like all the additional baggage that comes with a PTS label and diagnosis.

“People feel like we’re dangerous, they feel like we’re broken,” he said. “It makes people think people are going to snap.”

In order to get a conversation going about the complexities of labels in society today, Doc has teamed up with Diet Coke’s multi-year [unlabeled] platform. The effort is being kicked off this summer as labels are removed from limited-edition cans of Diet Coke.

Doc began writing lyrics for his band while in high school. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in 2007. Attached to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, Doc deployed to Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan in 2009 as part of Operation Khanjar, the largest aerial insertion of Marines since the Vietnam War.

While in Afghanistan, Doc said he experienced it all – including the loss of a close friend to small arms fire on July 2, 2009. Doc said 14 members of his battalion were killed in Afghanistan. Several more were lost to suicide or substance abuse upon returning home.

Doc also battled personal demons upon his return to the United States and was ultimately diagnosed with PTS last year.

Doc Todd
Photo Courtesy Diet Coke

“It’s an unfortunate label,” he said. “I thought it would hinder me to rise to my potential. I did not want the label.”

In order to help break down the misconceptions that arise due to a PTS diagnosis, most of Doc’s free time is spent either recording or writing his own music or helping veterans tell their stories through song.

Doc Todd Afghanistan
Therealdoctodd.com

“I’m helping people to come out of the shadows and tell their story,” he said.

Doc’s hip-hop album, "Combat Medicine” uses music as a means to explore both military life and veteran transition.

“I can use experiences I’ve had in the military to make me a better version of myself and let other veterans know they aren’t alone,” he said.

 To learn more about Doc’s music, visit therealdoctodd.com.

If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are helpful, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. VA Crisis Line call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. ​