GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man featured in an Associated Press account of veterans coping with trauma through songwriting was found dead on Sunday, the same day the story was published.
Guilderland police Capt. Curtis Cox said Monday the cause of Adan Olid’s death was under investigation and he had no other information about the circumstances, including when the 29-year-old former Marine died. Foul play isn’t suspected. An autopsy was being done Monday, but the cause of death might not be known until toxicology results are available, Cox said.
In November interviews with the AP, Olid spoke eloquently about the feelings he carried after close calls and seeing friends dying during three tours in Iraq. He told of overcoming despair to confront the “ghost-like feeling” of post-traumatic stress disorder after contemplating suicide at the rail of the Golden Gate Bridge and deciding not to jump.
The AP story published Sunday was about “Songwriting With Soldiers” retreats, in which military veterans work with musicians to turn anecdotes and raw feelings into lyrics and melody. The story included a vignette of Olid working with program founder Darden Smith and veteran recording artist Marshall Crenshaw to craft a song titled “I Couldn’t See the Sun Shine.”
Olid was inspired by the moment on the bridge when an officer asked him how he was doing and he realized he “wasn’t a ghost anymore.” The song ends with an invitation to “come and see the sun shine on the Golden Gate.”
“I think I got everything I needed in this one song. But there are always a lot more stories to tell,” Olid said after the session.
The organization behind the retreats said in a statement Monday that it was deeply saddened by Olid’s death.
“We do know that he found great joy in writing his song and hearing it performed as well as hearing the songs of the other participants,” the organization said. “We will continue to work to get his song and all the others out to those who may be strengthened by them.”
Associated Press writer Michael Hill said Monday his last contact with Olid was early last week.
“I called Adan two days before Christmas to tell him when the piece was moving,” Hill said. “He was in good spirits and seemed enthused, though he had texted earlier to say he had called in sick to work. We wished each other happy holidays and I promised to be in touch.”