Val Hoeppner

“Sing to me Trotter”

The request came from soldiers reaching out to a comrade for a hit of sanity and serenity amid the firestorm of combat in Iraq. That comrade, the singer, was Michael Trotter, and that’s how he remembers the entreaties.

“You just get filled with honor,” Trotter says, using the present tense to describe events from more than a decade ago. He’s lying flat on the floor to relax his back in the hours before a performance in the Fall of 2018. His mind feels its way back to a war zone in the middle 2000s.