Veteran and firefighter who saved countless lives struggled to save his own

Michael Washington

Burdened by tragedy and pain, USC alumnus Michael Washington almost gave up on life. Now he helps other first responders find hope and healing.

Michael Washington stepped to the edge of a bridge near Tacoma, Washington, carrying a lifetime’s worth of stress and trauma on his shoulders.

As a firefighter, he had seen suffering from fiery car crashes and tragic shootings. He had served four combat tours as a Marine. Poverty, substance abuse, violence and molestation marred his childhood. And a son who followed him into the Marines was killed in battle in Afghanistan.

But as he stood on the brink of ending his life, he felt a presence. His son’s spirit seemed to be holding him back, telling him his story didn’t need to end that night on the bridge. Washington knew he still had work to do.

Read Michael’s story