The Early Years 

Jake was raised on a backcountry ranch near the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Growing up miles from nowhere, only his younger brothers as companions, he learned to love the outdoors, the land, and all that the rugged country had to offer. The entertainment they had consisted of his Papa’s good old country music recordings in the shop and watching news, Hee Haw, Grand Ol’ Opry, and NASCAR on Sundays on the hand turned satellite dish. By the time Jake was in High School, the family moved to Southwest Montana in the historic Beaverhead County. His natural ability to entertain was discovered as a youth.  Encouraged by his friends and family, Jake began to feel very comfortable behind a microphone with his guitar, but it wasn’t until Jake reached High School that he realized the potential of his voice and the songs he had begun to write.  Performing those songs in front of audiences gave Jake fulfillment and would form a dream that had to be followed.  

But that dream would be put on hold. 

Both of Jakes grandfathers served during World War 2 and jake was drawn to service to this great country he loved. Jake graduated from High School and enlisted in the US Army at the age of 17. Perhaps it was the draw to serve others, or he just wanted to experience a world outside of his beloved mountains but either way it would be a decision that would change his life forever. 

He was able to see the world, as an Artilleryman, Forward Observer, and Paratrooper (Mostly from the backdoor of a C-130), and this experience would change is view of his world forever. 

 “The Army gave me the opportunity to see the best of mankind and the worst. It gave me the greatest pride and at the same time shame. We do things because we are ordered to but ultimately the politics, the patriotism, and purpose of being there in the first place fade away and the only thing that mattered was protecting each other.” To Jake, it didn’t matter what branch or MOS you were. Anyone with that US Flag patch was a brother or sister and Jake was raised to protect your family at all cost. 

Jakes honorable service came to an end when he was medically discharged following a major parachute malfunction that would ultimately lead to a life of pain. 

The Dark Years 

”The scars that you get from service you carry with you forever. The physical pain you expect, it’s predictable. You know when you have it and others see it. The emotional pain is silent, it lays in wait and attacks you when you least expect it. It comes with people around or when you are alone. The demons that civilians see in nightmares, lurk behind the soldier both day and night. They wait to strike when you are at your weakest.”-Jake 

Following service Jake was a Firefighter Medic and assisted in emergency response to some of the nation’s largest natural and manmade disasters until his injuries from service forced him to stop serving his community and country yet again. Service to others was Jakes life at this point and his world began to unravel. 

He moved back home and returned to entertainment. The nightlife, stages, and music gave Jake an escape from the pain. He could be someone else, put on a face, forget his past service and sacrifices. That face became a mask, that mask was a coping mechanism and hid who Jake really was. Jake eventually made it to Nashville and was writing and performing with some of the industry’s top acts. At age 30, after serving in the US Army, and as a Fire Fighter and a paramedic in Denver CO, Jake and his family packed up and headed south.  Jake went to Nashville to reconnect with some of the great artists and musicians he previously worked with, back in his younger years. 

 But for everything gained, something is lost. 

 “It was all about the mask I wore, I lost who I was. The servant heart I had was exchanged for self-preservation. Remember those demons? They came back and before I knew it they took over my life. Alcohol and substances were an everyday thing. The worst part was I was still good on the outside, not very many knew. Water bottles with Schnapps were always in my hand and I had great breath (giggle). Everything looked great on outside but inside I was losing the war within.” 

“Eventually I hit low enough that I knew I needed help. I was surrounded by smiling people but still felt isolated and alone. I almost loss everything that truly mattered and just before I gave up all hope I ran into an old World War 2 and Korean War vet who metaphorically kicked my ass. He asked me why I was sitting in the lobby of the Tennessee Valley VA hospital looking all done and whooped. Before I could answer he said, “Son, I know where you’re at. I was there too. I thought I lost everything, but I am still here and fighting. Those damn assholes didn’t kill ya, don’t let the demons do it.” 

“I don’t know if it was his words or the other help I got, but it changed me that day. I still fight the demons, but now I have the right tools for the battle. I’m winning the war today and now I want to help others like that old salty vet helped me. We gotta take care of our own” 

The Phoenix 

A few years later Jake left the industry and moved his family to Texas. It was there while sitting in a PTSD group that he found his opportunity to serve again. “We were in group talking about how shitty the VA is and why can’t we get what we need without a fight. This Nam vet looks at me and says, ‘Ain’t nothing gonna change till we get some pissed off NCO’s running it.’. We all laughed but I decided I would go to school and get in the VA to help the other Vets and try to help fix it from within.” 

After VA Vocational Rehabilitation told Jake he wouldn’t be able to go to school with the severity of his disabilities, he was able to convince the counselor to let him prove it. “They gave me one semester to prove it. Don’t you tell me I can't do anything, I'll prove ya wrong or die trying.” Jake was accepted into Texas A&M University and graduated with a degree in Neuropsychology in record time. Jake became a true believer in the Maroon and White and embodies the spirit of a “Fighting Texas Aggie”. 

“Gig em Ags.” 

Despite his troubles in the past, Jake Dillon has always been a leader. He is considered a good family man, honorable disabled veteran, and a world class entertainer. In addition to working in PTSD an Addiction Therapy veterans at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Jake finds the time to be a part of  multiple veteran organizations, supports Shriners Hospitals for Children as a Shriner, and is a tireless advocate for veteran issues and federal employee rights as a representative of the National Federation of Federal Employees. If there is a need, Jake finds a way to fill it for many. All this while still writing and performing music about real life and being a motivational speaker. 

 He describes his music as country, cowboy, and rodeo rock and roll.  Jake did not forget that the whole point of making music is to allow people to relive their own life through his music and celebrate this life, as one world and one people with different backgrounds. 

Jake has ecstatic rhythm. He can go from writing and performing country rock to a love ballad and make it a ‘one of a kind’ over the top performance. Jake has a range of rhythm and tempo that makes you want to get up and dance or just sit there and feel that the song was written just for you.. 

Jake’s raw and rich vocals and easygoing manner made an immediate impression on music fans and the music industry. 

“I love to write and perform music that is an accurate representation of the world we live in. Its about the journey. Our past, our present, and what could be ahead. The ups and the downs, the highs, the lows, they make us who we are. It’s about my story….. and maybe my music tells your story as well.” 


Jake Dillon - 2022