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“Only a Mountain”: How Music Helped Save SPC JP Lane’s Life

This is only a moment

You don’t have to let your fear control it

Tell it to move, it’ll move

Tell it to fall, it’ll fall

--“Only a Mountain” by Jason Castro

For Army Specialist (Ret.) JP Lane, these moments have forever changed his life.

Moment #1: On September 11, 2001, JP watched in horror as planes crashed into the World Trade Center. It was then that this eighth grader decided to one day serve in the military.

Moment #2: In 2008, JP joined the US Army as a combat engineer.

Moment #3: In 2010, JP deployed to Afghanistan, now responsible for locating and disabling IEDs. While JP and his crew cleared the operation’s most dangerous route, their truck struck a 200lb IED. The explosion resulted in 26 total injuries for JP—the loss of both legs, a broken arm, a traumatic brain injury, a broken pelvis, spinal injuries, and significant damage to his internal organs.

Moment #4: Upon waking from a 6-week coma, during which he’d died twice on the operating table, JP received devastating news from his doctors – even with prosthetics, he’d never walk again, or speak properly due to a tracheotomy.

Moment #5: After 28 surgeries, JP proved his doctors wrong – after receiving his first pair of prosthetics, he was walking again in only 6 months.

But JP’s hardships were far from over.

“It was hard looking in the mirror and seeing the person that I was versus the person that I had been,” he said. After attempting to take his life 12 times, it was his faith in God that helped him find joy and purpose in life again. “God told me to pick up a guitar, and music saved my life.”

Moment #6: The first song JP learned was “Only a Mountain” by Jason Castro. He said, “This song told me that I can overcome the things I am going through.”

Others soon noticed JP’s incredible talent, and he’s since performed for two US presidents — during President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2012 (the first time he ever performed live) and President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2016. Ever since, JP has traveled the country playing his music, sharing his story, and collaborating with other artists, including a personal hero of his, Jason Castro.

Moment #7: In 2018, JP married the love of his life, Crystal, and the two began speaking as a couple, sharing their powerful story to encourage others to never give up hope. They moved to Texas and bought a home on five acres. To care for the land, JP needed a riding lawn mower, so a friend encouraged him to reach out to Semper Fi & America’s Fund.

Moment #8: The day he connected with the Fund, JP knew this organization was special, especially when they told him to go straight to Home Depot and pick out a riding lawn mower.

“I thought to myself, ‘Who are these people?” JP said while laughing. “It blew my mind the way they immediately helped.”

Since then, The Fund and JP’s case manager, Teresa, have been a huge part of his life.

“They are like family,” JP said. “The way The Fund cares for me is how you would expect family members to treat you. It’s incredible seeing it from an organization.”

Today: JP’s story and music have touched the hearts of thousands. A treasured member of The Fund family, he’s inspired countless individuals to overcome hardship by meeting challenges head on with a positive attitude, firm in his belief that “This is only a moment, you don’t have to let your fear control it”.